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Jim Dempsey

Vice President for Public Policy, The Center for Democracy and Technology

Jim Dempsey joined CDT in 1997. From 2003 to 2005, he served as Executive Director. He currently heads CDT West, in San Francisco. Mr. Dempsey concentrates on Internet privacy, government surveillance, and national security issues. He coordinates the Digital Due Process Coalition, a diverse group of companies, advocacy groups and think tanks working to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. Dempsey previously headed CDT's international project, the Global Internet Policy Initiative (GIPI).

Prior to joining CDT, Mr. Dempsey was Deputy Director of the non-profit Center for National Security Studies and special counsel to the National Security Archive, a non-governmental organization that uses the Freedom of Information Act to gain the declassification of documents on the U.S. foreign policy.

From 1985 to 1995, Mr. Dempsey was assistant counsel to the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights. He worked on issues at the intersection of national security and constitutional rights, including terrorism, counterintelligence, oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and electronic surveillance laws, as well as criminal justice issues.

From 1980 to 1984, Mr. Dempsey was an associate with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Arnold & Porter, where he practiced in areas of government and commercial contracts, energy law, and anti-trust.

Mr. Dempsey is author or co-author of articles in law reviews and other journals on privacy and Internet policy, including "Privacy as an Enabler, Not an Impediment: Building Trust into Health Information Exchange," Health Affairs, Vol. 28, no. 2 (2009); "Commercial Data and National Security," 72 G. W. L. Rev. 1459 (2004); "Civil Liberties in a Time of Crisis," Human Rights magazine (2002); and "Communications Privacy in the Digital Age," 8 Albany L.J Sci. & Tech 65 (1997). He is co-author of the book Terrorism & the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security (New Press, Third edition, 2006) (with Prof. David Cole of Georgetown).


Biography last updated December 20, 2010