Blog of Rights

Catherine
Crump

Catherine Crump (@CatherineNCrumpclerked for the Hon. M. Margaret McKeown, a judge on U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, prior to joining the ACLU. Crump graduated from Stanford University and Stanford Law School. She is a non-residential fellow with the Stanford Center for Internet and Society.

The Freedom to Read Online

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 10:32am
Together with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, today we asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision (PDF) that the government does not need a warrant to monitor the Web sites people read. The brief, submitted in United States v. Forrester, points out that people reasonably expect to be able to read the Web without the fear that the government is looking over their shoulder. The issue of Web privacy is one small aspect of the larger, fascinating, and unresolved question of how to apply the protections of the Constitution to the Internet. Technological change often prompts a reevaluation of the Constitution's meaning. In 1877, the Supreme Court concluded that the Fourth Amendment protects postal mail. Ninety years later, in United States v. Katz, the Supreme Court considered the novel question whether the Fourth Amendment's protection extends beyond postal mail to telephone conversations. It held that it does, and set out the general principle that the Fourth Amendment protects individuals whenever they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Thirty years after that, in 1997, the Court first addressed the application of the Constitution to Internet communications. That year the Supreme Court extended full First Amendment protection to the Internet in ACLU v. Reno, recognizing that "the content on the Internet is as diverse as human thought." In Forrester, we are asking the Court to grant Internet speech full Fourth Amendment protection as well. One of the reasons the Internet is such a powerful means of communication is that individuals are free to explore their ideas and interests free from the fear of social stigma or government observation. Privacy and free speech go hand-in-hand.

COPA: We Won!

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 1:09pm
Today brings excellent news for free speech: A court declared the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), a federal Internet censorship law, unconstitutional, and forbade the government from enforcing it. It has taken nearly a decade of litigation—we…

Payment Cards vs. Filtering Software

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 10:57am
Here is a look at what is coming up this week in the COPA trial. We're nearing the end of our case-in-chief. Our only witness left to testify is Professor Ronald Mann. Remember this? COPA provides an affirmative defense from prosecution for anyone who,…
New York Court Decision Highlights Yet Another Shortcoming In Nation’s Outdated Electronic Privacy Laws

New York Court Decision Highlights Yet Another Shortcoming In Nation’s Outdated Electronic Privacy Laws

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 1:02pm

A recent cell phone tracking case from New York is both a win and loss for privacy. In People v. Moorer, police officers submitted an emergency or “exigent circumstances” request to a phone company asking it to ping (locate) a cell phone—but…

In Congress Today: Testifying in Support of Geo-Privacy

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 5:23pm

Today I testified before the House Judiciary Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee in support of the Geolocational Privacy Surveillance Act, a law that would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant based upon probable cause before…

Privacy Rights Must Keep Pace with Technology

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 12:02pm

In November, a federal court in Texas found that the Constitution requires the government to get a warrant and show probable cause before getting access to someone’s historical location data from their mobile carrier. We applauded this decision…

Good News for Cell Phone Users' Privacy!

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 12:08pm

Today we received good news for everyone who carries a cell phone — the court of appeals will not reconsider its opinion earlier this year holding that judges may require the government to get a warrant and establish probable cause to obtain…

Checking Your Privacy at the Border

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 12:20pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

With the holiday season underway, travelers are bracing themselves for the countless hassles that come with modern travel. Most have adapted to waiting on long security lines, taking off their shoes and parting…

LGBT Filtering Victory!

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 4:47pm

Yesterday we won a great settlement of a lawsuit against two Tennessee school districts. Before, public schools in Nashville and Knoxville had blocked access to all Web sites that presented positive information about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender…

Take Three: Appellate Court Hears Challenge to Internet Censorship . . . Again

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 10:14am

A sense of déjà vu pervaded the courtroom in Philadelphia yesterday as the ACLU presented its challenge to the Child Online Protection Act . . . again. This is not the first or the second, but the third time the ACLU has been before…

Statistics image