Anna Diakun is a staff attorney at the Knight Institute. Her litigation focuses on government transparency and government surveillance of speech.
Diakun is leading the Knight Institute’s effort to secure the release of records related to the Trump administration’s restrictions on speech of CDC scientists. She is also on the Knight Institute’s litigation team in Doc Society v. Blinken, challenging the government’s mass collection and indefinite retention of visa applicants’ social media identifiers. She previously led litigation on behalf of Freedom of the Press Foundation and the Knight Institute to secure the release of records concerning government surveillance of journalists, as well as litigation seeking the disclosure of secret Office of Legal Counsel opinions issued at least 25 years ago.
Prior to joining the Institute, Diakun was a fellow with the National Security Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, where she worked on issues related to the government’s use of lethal force abroad, military detention, surveillance, and discrimination against racial and religious minorities. Her work included a challenge to the unlawful detention of an American by the U.S. military abroad in Doe v. Mattis, which resulted in his release from custody.
She has been quoted or published in The Washington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, Just Security, Politico, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, The Intercept, Defense One, and USA Today.
Diakun holds a B.A. in Political Science from Yale College, an M.A. in International Relations and European Studies from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. During law school, she served as a student director of the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic and as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Following law school, she served as a law clerk for the Hon. Allyson K. Duncan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Why is Biden Doubling Down on Trump’s Surveillance Policy?
State Department refuses to disclose Biden administration report on social media visa vettingBy Anna Diakun
Why is The U.S. Still Probing Foreign Visitors’ Social Media Accounts?
Many people expected the Biden administration to end a Trump-era policy. Instead, the administration is expanding it.By Anna Diakun & Carrie DeCell
Biden promised transparency. Has he delivered?
One year into Biden's presidency, Staff Attorney Anna Diakun reflects on the administration’s transparency record and calls for a course correction where it has come up short.By Anna Diakun
Deep Dive : Press Freedom
The Justice Department’s New Media Protections Are (Mostly) a Promise, Not Yet a Reality
What’s most important is not what the Attorney General has already done, but what the Justice Department and Congress do nextBy Anna Diakun & Jameel Jaffer
Deep Dive : Press Freedom
For the Biden Administration, Who Counts as News Media?
Newly obtained document raises concerns that some newsgatherers will be denied First Amendment protectionBy Anna Diakun & Trevor Timm
Knight Institute and Reporters Committee Urge Attorney General Garland to Ensure Compliance with the Freedom of Information Act
Groups lay out steps for newly confirmed attorney general to take nowBy Anna Diakun
Knight Institute, ACLU, and More than 40 Organizations Call on Biden Administration to Embrace a More Open Government
Letter proposes steps the administration could take immediatelyBy Anna Diakun
Biden Administration Signals Openness to Reconsidering Social Media Surveillance of Visa Applicants
Orders a review of a dangerous Trump administration screening and vetting policy and ends discriminatory executive order that led to itBy Anna Diakun
Redactions in CDC Communications Policies Leave Key Questions Unanswered
By Anna Diakun
Newly released CDC documents, confirm Office of Vice President’s involvement in CDC Covid-19 communications but leave important details concealed