I'm not sure what to make of the fact that the ACLU's principal technologist—as part of a lengthy and admittedly contentious Twitter exchange—just tweeted this:
— Christopher Soghoian (@csoghoian) February 10, 2016
The context was a dispute over Lawfare's move to https last year, a matter I won't rehash here but about which interested readers can consult the Twitter exchange. Nor am I going to go into the merits of Soghoian's suggestions that I "love" surveillance and defend torture, except to say that this is not quite how I would describe my views on either subject. For present purposes, it is Soghoian's claim that I am a "horrible person" that makes me wonder:
- Does the ACLU institutionally stand by its employee's publicly stated view that I am a "horrible person"?
- Is it normal operating procedure for prominent ACLU representatives to issue such ad hominems , and does the ACLU regard such statements as a legitimate part of working "tirelessly in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the Constitution’s promise of liberty for everyone in our country"?
- If I were to tweet that, say, Jameel Jaffer (who is, for the record a great guy whom and I like and admire very much) is a "horrible person who doesn't care about American lives and loves protecting child pornographers from law enforcement," would the ACLU take the view that my words should in no way be linked by a reasonable person to the Brookings Institution or to Lawfare?