Ahmed Ghappour

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Ahmed Ghappour
Born Ahmed Ghappour
(1980-05-05) May 5, 1980 (age 38)
Manchester, England
Nationality American and British

JD, New York University School of Law

BSE, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey New Brunswick Campus

Ahmed Ghappour (born May 5, 1980), an expert in criminal law and computer security, joined the full-time faculty of Boston University School of Law in 2017.[1] Ghappour’s research bridges computer science and the law to address contemporary challenges wrought by new technologies in the administration of criminal justice and national security.[2]

Ghappour’s research and teaching interests stem from his experience litigating complex computer crime and national security cases. He was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor at U.C. Hastings College of the Law where he taught Criminal Procedure and a seminar on Electronic Surveillance. At U.C. Hastings, he also founded the school’s Liberty, Security & Technology Clinic, which provided legal services to criminal defendants in espionage and computer crime cases. Prior to UC-Hastings, he taught the National Security Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law, represented Guantanamo detainees in their habeas corpus proceedings at Reprieve UK, and worked as a patent litigator at Orrick Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP.[3]

Formerly, Ghappour was a computer engineer focused on automation, diagnostics, distributed systems architecture and high performance computing.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

From 1997-2001, Ghappour attended Rutgers the State University of New Jersey New Brunswick Campus, where he majored in Computer Engineering. [3] While in college, he worked as a Design Automation Engineer for Anadigics, a worldwide provider of semiconductor solutions to the broadband wireless and wireline communications markets.

Upon graduation, he became a Diagnostic Engineer at Silicon Graphics,[3] an American manufacturer of high-performance computing solutions, including computer hardware and software. At SGI, he worked on the Altix 3000, the world's most scalable Linux-based supercomputer at the time of its release.[4]

From 2004-2007, Ghappour attended New York University School of Law as a Dean's Merit Scholar.[3] He started his law career as patent litigation attorney at the international law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.[5]

Select Cases[edit]

United States v. Brown (N.D. Tx.) – Ghappour was lead counsel for Barrett Brown on an assortment of 17 charges filed in three indictments that include sharing an http link to information publicly released during the 2012 Stratfor email leak, and several counts of conspiring to publicize restricted information about an FBI agent.[6][7][8] Ghappour filed several motions to dismiss the government's charges.[9][10] The government responded by dismissing 11 charges on March 5, 2014.[11][12][13]

United States v. Moalin, et al. (S.D. Ca.) – Ghappour was lead trial counsel for Issa Doreh, a Somali American charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism for sending approximately $8,500 to al-Shabaab.[5] The case attracted notoriety as the first criminal case to challenge bulk metadata collection (under Section 215 of the PATRIOT ACT),[5] after Global surveillance disclosures by Edward Snowden.[14]

Guantánamo detainees[edit]

In 2008 Ghappour joined Reprieve, a British non-profit, as staff attorney. Ghappour volunteered his services to detainees held as enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay; he has assisted in filing habeas corpus petitions and lawsuits on behalf of detainees. His clients have included Binyam Mohammed, Mohammed el Gharani,[15] Adel al-Gazzar and Hisham Sliti. In 2009, Ghappour along with Reprieve founder Clive Stafford Smith faced the possibility of being found in contempt of court because of a letter they sent to President Barack Obama explaining allegations of torture by US agents of their mutual client Binyam Mohamed.[16]


  1. ^ "Ahmed Ghappour | School of Law". www.bu.edu. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  2. ^ "Author Page for Ahmed Ghappour :: SSRN". papers.ssrn.com. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Maria Zilberman (2014-05-16). "The Recorder: Law Students Get Schooled in Mass Surveillance". The Recorder. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  4. ^ Scaling Linux to New Heights: the SGI Altix 3000 System Linux Journal, January 2003
  5. ^ a b c [1]
  6. ^ David Carr (2013-09-09). "A Journalist-Agitator Facing Prison Over a Link". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 
  7. ^ Peter Ludlow (2013-06-18). "The Strange Case of Barrett Brown". The Nation. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 
  8. ^ Kristin Bergman (2013-08-06). "Adding up to 105: The Charges Against Barrett Brown". Digital Media Law Project. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  9. ^ Motion to Dismiss 03-CR-413 (March 3, 2014)
  10. ^ Ed Pilkington, Attorneys for Barrett Brown want case on linking to hacked material dismissed, GUARDIAN (March 4, 2014). [2]
  11. ^ Government's Motion to Dismiss Counts in 03-CR-413 (March 5, 2013)
  12. ^ Ed Pilkington, US government moves to drop key charges against Barrett Brown, GUARDIAN (March 5, 2014). [3]
  13. ^ Kevin Krause, Government moves to dismiss bulk of case against Dallas hacktivist, Dallas Morning News (March 5, 2014) [4]
  14. ^ Defendant's Joint Motion for a New Trial
  15. ^ Andy Worthington, Guantánamo’s Youngest Prisoner, Mohammed El-Gharani, Is Imprisoned In Chad, (June 18, 2009)[5]
  16. ^ Torture case lawyers may face jail for letter