Washington, DC | www.adc.org | May 12, 2015 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) announces a panel discussion on surveillance and privacy entitled, Dose of Reality: The Surveillance State Revealed. The panel will be held on Friday, June 12, 2015 as part of the 35th Anniversary ADC National Convention in Washington, DC.
In 2013, civil rights organizations’ suspicions of mass civil rights violations and government intrusion through unconstitutional spying programs which came to light in the Glenn Greenwald (The Intercept) articles.
The panel will explore in depth the privacy and surveillance issues that affect our rights, daily lives, and society as demonstrated in Laura Poitras’ highly acclaimed film, CitizenFour, which documents the national security and privacy abuses by our government and the case of Edward Snowden. The panel will also discuss our current challenges to implement meaningful protections and how to move forward in light of recent surveillance and cybersecurity legislation.
Shahid Buttar, Esq.
Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Executive Director
Shahid Buttar leads the Bill of Rights Defense Committee in its efforts to restore civil liberties, constitutional rights, and rule of law principles undermined by law enforcement and intelligence agencies within the United States. He is a constitutional lawyer, grassroots organizer, independent columnist, electronic musician, and poet.
Before joining BORDC in 2009, Shahid directed a national program to combat racial and religious profiling, after serving for three years as associate director of the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy. He previously pursued public interest litigation (advancing marriage equality for same sex couples and campaign finance reform) in private practice at Heller Ehrman LLP, after receiving his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 2003, where he served as executive editor of the Stanford Environmental Law Journal and a teaching assistant for Constitutional Law. He graduated summa cum laude from Loyola University Chicago with a BA in political science and creative writing in 2000, ten years after beginning college at the University of Chicago and after a six-year career in financial services to pay for school.
Shahid’s comments have been featured by news outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, The Guardian, The Intercept, CNN, al-Jazeera, FOX News, Agence-France Presse, Huffington Post, Truthout, Democracy Now!, and many others, including dozens of radio stations around the country. He frequently addresses public audiences, such as elected bodies, colleges, and law schools, including Stanford, UC-Berkeley, UCLA, the University of Chicago, the University of Texas at Austin, and Georgetown.
In addition to his work leading BORDC, Shahid also serves on the advisory bodies of the Rights Working Group, the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, the National Campaign to Restore Civil Rights, and South Asian Americans Leading Together.
Shahid also supports populist constitutionalism as an independent columnist (writing for outlets including Huffington Post and Truthout, as well as the People’s Blog for the Constitution), community organizer, and hip-hop and electronica MC and DJ. In his creative capacities as a poet and musician, Shahid has performed around the world for audiences as large as 30,000, co-founded several grassroots art and culture groups around the country, facilitated workshops for young people and emerging artists, and released his debut CD, Get Outta Your Chair, in 2008.
Cato Institute, Policy Analyst in Homeland Security & Civil Liberties
Patrick Eddington is a policy analyst in Homeland Security and Civil Liberties at the Cato Institute, and an assistant professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University. From 2004-2010, he served as communications director and later as senior policy advisor to Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ). Eddington’s legislative portfolio included the full range of security-related issues, with an emphasis on intelligence policy reform in the areas of surveillance, detainee interrogation, and the use of drones, both in overseas and domestic contexts.
From 1988 to 1996, Eddington was a military imagery analyst at the CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center. He received numerous accolades for his analytical work, including letters of commendation from the Joint Special Operations Command, the Joint Warfare Analysis Center and the CIA’s Office of Military Affairs. His analytical assignments included monitoring the breakup of the former Soviet Union and providing military assessments to policymakers on Iraqi and Iranian conventional forces.
Eddington’s opinion pieces have appeared in a number of publications, including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, and the Army Times, and he’s appeared on the Fox News Channel, MSNBC, SKYNews, and CNN, among other venues.
Eddington received a B.A. in International Affairs from Missouri State University in 1985 and his M.A. in National Security Studies from Georgetown University in 1992. He spent 11 years in the U.S. Army Reserve and the National Guard in both enlisted and commissioned service.
Electronic Frontier Foundation, Legislative Analyst
Mark Jaycox is a Legislative Analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, focusing on user privacy, civil liberties, surveillance law, and cybersecurity. Currently, Mr. Jaycox is working on legislative efforts to reform the National Security Agency and update surveillance law, like the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Apart from his legislative efforts, one of his upcoming research projects focuses on the use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for computer network operations. Mr. Jaycox received his Baccalaureate degree in political history from Reed College and the University of Oxford (Wadham College), and concentrated in Political History. The intersection of advancing technologies and the law is prevalent throughout his education and career. Previous to joining the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mr. Jaycox was a Contributor to ArsTechnica. Mr. Jaycox has been featured both on and offline in publications like the Guardian, the New York Times, and ProPublica.
Yolanda Cher Rondon, Esq.
ADC Staff Attorney
Yolanda Rondon is a Staff Attorney for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), where she works on legal cases and policy issues related to surveillance, racial profiling, hate crimes, employment discrimination and immigration. Ms. Rondon drafted an amicus brief as counsel of record to the 9th Circuit in Farraj v. Cunningham (discriminatory/bias conduct by a judge and court appointed officials). Ms. Rondon also drafted as co-counsel amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. (religious accommodation in employment) and Zivotofsky v. Kerry (Jerusalem Passport Case). Ms. Rondon also substantially contributed to amicus brief submitted by the Center for Constitutional Rights to the 3rd circuit in Hassan v. City of New York (profiling by NYPD).
Ms. Rondon has provided written and oral testimony to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board on surveillance, privacy and profiling concerns of the Arab American community. Ms. Rondon has provided written testimony and reports to the United States Commission on Civil Rights on religious violations of prisoner rights and religious accommodation issues in immigration detentions. Ms. Rondon, also addressed the United States compliance with the Convention Against Torture and privacy issues related to surveillance at the U.S. Department of State – Universal Periodic Review.
Ms. Rondon has served as a speaker and conducted several interviews for articles, newspapers and radio shows on employment discrimination, immigration, racial profiling and constitutional issues including the N.Y. Daily News, U.S. News & World Report, Voice of America, The International Business Times, WHUR 96.3 – The Daily Drum, and 88.5 WMNF – True Talk, ArabVoicesSpeak. Recently, the American Bar Association – Human Rights Magazine published Ms. Rondon’s article entitled, Is Korematsu Really Dead? Still Lurking in Front of the Penumbras? Ms. Rondon has also published research on fair trial rights in international tribunals.
Prior to her position at ADC, Ms. Rondon was a law clerk at the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and for Chief Administrative Judge Charetta Harrington at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Cleveland, Ohio. During law school, Ms. Rondon also served as a law clerk in Israel, working on cases involving Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees. Ms. Rondon earned her Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 2013, with legal concentrations in individual rights and social reform, and international humanitarian law. Ms. Rondon earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at the SUNY Buffalo State College in 2010.