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.

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 historical cell phone location information.

North Carolina Wants to Know What You Bought from Amazon

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 5:29pm

On Monday, Amazon.com sued the State of North Carolina after the state issued a summons that would, according to Amazon, require it to identify what books, CDs and DVDs its customers in North Carolina had purchased. The North Carolina Department…

Everywhere You Want to Be, and Everywhere You Once Were

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 5:45pm

(Originally posted on Daily Kos.)

We recently submitted a brief (PDF) to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in a case about the legal limits of the government using people's cell phones to monitor their whereabouts, a.k.a. "cell phone tracking." The case is about what requirements must be met in order for the governmentto obtain a record of someone's past movements from the telephone company. The government argues (PDF) that it is entitled to this information whenever it shows the information is "relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation." The ACLU and our coalition partners the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy & Technology and the ACLU of Pennsylvania argue that judges should be free to require the government to show probable cause, which we believe is required by the Fourth Amendment.

If you're like most people, you're probably not aware that your cell phone can be used to track your movements. It can. If your phone is fairly new, the odds are it has a GPS chip inside. The same technology that allows car navigation systems to know where your car is can be used to track your movements through your cell phone. But even if your phone doesn't have a GPS chip, it still has to connect to the cell phone network somehow. It transmits to the nearest cell network tower and, because the location of those towers is known, it's possible to approximate the location of you and your phone.

Can You Find Me Now?

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 3:59pm

Today the ACLU sued the Justice Department to force it to reveal its policies for tracking the location of cell phones. As anyone who watches Law & Order: SVU knows, all cell phones double as tracking devices.They send cell phone networks information…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

Fighting for a Free Press in Puerto Rico

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 5:20pm
This morning we argued a case about the freedom of the press before a panel of very engaged 1st Circuit judges in Puerto Rico.We represent a number of journalists who were kicked, punched and pepper sprayed by FBI agents. The FBI agents had been executing…
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