Timothy H. Edgar is a visiting fellow at the Institute and adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center. His work focuses on the unique policy challenges posed by growing global cyber conflict, particularly in reconciling security interests with fundamental values, including privacy and Internet freedom.
Mr. Edgar served under President Obama as the first director of privacy and civil liberties for the White House National Security Staff, focusing on cybersecurity, open government, and data privacy initiatives. From 2006 to 2009, he was the first deputy for civil liberties for the director of national intelligence, reviewing new surveillance authorities, the terrorist watchlist, and other sensitive programs. He has also been counsel for the information sharing environment, which facilitates the secure sharing of terrorism-related information.
Prior to his government service, Mr. Edgar was the national security and immigration counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, where he spearheaded the organization's innovative left- right coalition advocating for safeguards for a number of post-9/11 counterterrorism initiatives, including the USA Patriot Act. He frequently testified before Congress and appeared in major television, radio, and print media.
Publications include contributions to Patriot Debates (American Bar Association 2005), America's Battle Against Terrorism (with Nadine Strossen) (Greenhaven Press 2005) and Women Immigrants in the United States (Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars 2002), and Constitutional Governance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 25 Texas International Law Journal 207-237 (with Michael D. Nicoleau) (Spring 2000).
Mr. Edgar was a law clerk to Judge Sandra Lynch, United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He has a JD from Harvard Law School, where he served on the Harvard Law Review, and an AB from Dartmouth College.
March 12, 2014
Timothy Edgar, visiting fellow at the Watson Institute, comments on the “Raw Take” order, which was enacted after Sept. 11 to weaken restrictions on sharing private information about Americans in order to lower various bureaucratic barriers that impeded counterterrorism specialists across the government from working together. “Without the ability to have a small group of people that would be able to share intelligence at an earlier stage, at a raw stage,” Edgar said, “it was hard to cooperate at a more technical level.”
January 17, 2014
Visiting Scholar Timothy Edgar suggests that "Obama should make clear that spying on foreigners is not without limit. Privacy shouldn't be limited just to Americans."
December 17, 2013
Timothy Edgar explains the past and present of the FISA court in a radio interview with Marco Werman.
December 13, 2013
Writing for the blog Lawfare, Edgar says that the author of the article, which ran in the December 16 issue of the New Yorker, "oversimplifies, and therefore distorts, the legal issues in a way that fits his narrative."
November 15, 2013
Commenting in a Journal article on CIA spying, Visiting Scholar Timothy Edgar says that basic good governance demands greater transparency.
August 22, 2013
Visiting Fellow Tim Edgar discussed new revelations about the scope of NSA surveillance on the Diane Rehm Show today. Listen to the show.