Defending Rights & Dissent

June 21, 2024

DRAD Submits Report to UN on Constriction of Civic Space Around Pro-Palestine Activism

Defending Rights & Dissent frequently lends our expertise to international bodies evaluating American adherence to international norms surrounding freedom of expression, defending civil space against state repression, and other related topics. On June 21, 2024, we submitted the following testimony
June 6, 2024

11 Years After the Snowden Revelations: It’s Time to Fix the Espionage Act

We owe courageous truthtellers that much. Eleven years ago Americans learned the dirty secrets of the NSA’s illegal surveillance of US citizens – thanks to a courageous whistleblower, Edward Snowden. Yet, because of the anti-democratic, free-speech-killing Espionage Act, Snowden is
May 30, 2024

Defending Rights & Dissent Stands Against McCarthyite Attacks on Center for Security, Race and Rights

Congressional supporters of Israel’s war on Gaza are waging McCarthyite attacks on the Rutgers University Center for Center for Security, Race and Rights (the Center), and its Director, Professor Sahar Aziz. Abusing their positions on Congressional committees, these witch hunters
May 25, 2024

The Cost of Police Violence and Mayhem: A Report on Police Misconduct during the George Floyd Protests

On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes. Tens of millions of people took to the streets, not only in outrage, but with a fervent hope that
May 24, 2024

DRAD’s Chip Gibbons Appears on Democracy Now! to Break News of Assange Legal Victory

On May 20, 2024, the UK High Court granted imprisoned journalist Julian Assange a rare legal victory. Our Policy Director Chip Gibbons was in the courtroom. He had been credentialed to cover the proceedings for Jacobin. When the High Court
May 1, 2024

DRAD Statement: As a free speech organization, we condemn campus crackdowns

Defending Rights & Dissent condemns the crackdown taking place across campuses in the United States. Across the country, we have seen protests calling for a ceasefire and end to Israel’s brutal war in Gaza. Increasingly, many of  these protests have
April 23, 2024

Letter to Columbia President Minouche Shafik: Political expression concerns on campus

Here’s our letter: April 22, 2024 Dear President Shafik, Defending Rights & Dissent is a national civil liberties organization dedicated to protecting the right of political expression. We are deeply concerned about recent actions you have taken that jeopardize the
April 12, 2024

Statement: House Votes to Expand Warrantless Surveillance

Today, the House betrayed the American people and US Constitution by voting to allow the FBI to continue violating a fundamental tenet of US law: that searches require a warrant. Today’s vote extends unconstitutional surveillance and represents the largest expansion
April 12, 2024

“There’s many ways to assassinate a journalist”: Journalists reflect on Assange’s fifth year in Belmarsh Prison

On April 11, 2024, DRAD Policy Director Chip Gibbons joined Stefania Maurizi, Abby Martin, and Chris Hedges to mark five years of Julian Assange’s detention in Belmarsh Prison in the UK. On the grim anniversary, the panel of journalists reflected
March 27, 2024

Defending Rights & Dissent joins rapid-response panel following UK Assange decision

On March 26, 2024, less than 12 hours after the UK High Court’s decision, Defending Rights & Dissent Policy Director Chip Gibbons joined an expert panel to deliver rapid-response analysis. The panel featured Chip alongside other First Amendment and human
March 26, 2024

Defending Rights & Dissent Statement on UK High Court Ruling Granting Assange Partial Appeal Rights

On Tuesday March 26, 2024, the United Kingdom High Court of Justice granted Julian Assange a partial right to appeal his extradition to the US. For nearly five years, the United States has been seeking the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition to
March 21, 2024

Protest Under Fire: Spring 2024 Edition

Protest is the voice of the people.  It’s a powerful tool to force confrontation and shake up the status quo. From writing letters to protesting in the streets, from occupations to boycotts, our democracy demands that people have the freedom
March 20, 2024

TikTok Bans Deny First Amendment Right to Receive Information

On March 13, 2024, the US House of Representatives voted 352 to 65, in favor of the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act. The bill prohibits the distribution of or providing web hosting services that enable the distribution
February 28, 2024

Urgent Congressional Briefing: Press Freedom & the Assange Prosecution

On February 26, 2024, Defending Rights & Dissent convened a historic–and urgent–briefing on Capitol Hill on press freedom and the prosecution of Julian Assange. The briefing featured Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, Jodie Ginsberg, the CEO of Committee
February 27, 2024

Statement on the CFAA Indictment of Journalist Tim Burke

On February 22, 2024, the Department of Justice unsealed the indictment of journalist Timothy Burke under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The indictment, which concerns Burke’s access to Fox News unaired segments and sports news, wields the CFAA