Blog of Rights

Chris
Calabrese
Christopher Calabrese (@CRCalabreseis the legislative counsel for privacy-related issues in the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington Legislative Office (WLO). Prior to joining the WLO, Calabrese served as project counsel to the ACLU Technology & Liberty Project (TLP).  As legislative counsel, Calabrese leads the office's advocacy efforts related to privacy and the responsible use of technology, developing proactive strategies on pending federal legislation and executive branch actions concerning data collection, surveillance, and identification systems.
Ban on Arming Domestic Drones: Let’s Draw a Line in the Sand

Ban on Arming Domestic Drones: Let’s Draw a Line in the Sand

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 7:44am
Last week Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) and the House of Representatives drew an important line in the sand. Holt offered an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill to bar any DHS funding for “the purchase, operation, or maintenance of armed unmanned aerial vehicles.” (The amendment was adopted and the bill has passed the House.) While moves to arm domestic drones are widely seen as beyond the pale and have not really been contemplated (with the exception of one sheriff in Texas who mused about mounting less-lethal weapons like rubber bullets on unmanned aircraft), we believe it’s crucial to get ahead of any possible trend.
Supreme Court Decision on GPS Tracking: A Spur to Action for Congress

Supreme Court Decision on GPS Tracking: A Spur to Action for Congress

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:59am

It's time for Congress to catch up with new technology and support the GPS Act!

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Biometrics Industry: Anonymity is Forfeit

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:46am

The Department of Commerce has convened a “multistakeholder process” between civil society groups (like the ACLU) and industry groups, with the aim of limiting face recognition as a tool of surveillance in our society by establishing common ground…

The Limits of Oversight and the PCLOB

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:32am

(Update below)

Today, the nominees to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board (PCLOB) were voted from the Senate Judiciary Committee for full consideration in the Senate. It looks like the Senate is finally going to act to nominate five people…

The Single Greatest Chart Ever (At Least if You Want to Know Where Your Personal Information Goes)

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:46pm

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a report (PDF) on Wednesday that provides an outstanding start on describing the problems of data collection both on and offline.

Buried in that FTC report is a small gem: On pages 107 and 108…

Who Should be in Charge of Privacy in the 21st Century?

Who Should be in Charge of Privacy in the 21st Century?

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Joe Silver, Washington Legislative Office, ACLU at 2:23pm

An effort is underway to significantly set back even the limited amount of government privacy oversight that currently takes place over commercial privacy in the United States. Tuesday the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing…

Vast New Spying Program Was Started in Secret on a Bogus Pretext

Vast New Spying Program Was Started in Secret on a Bogus Pretext

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:25am

The Wall Street Journal today published (alternate link) an in-depth review of a new, relatively unknown program run by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). Although we have been warning about the dangers of the program for months, and I testified…

Time to Get Down to Business on Privacy

Time to Get Down to Business on Privacy

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:16pm

Today, the White House released a new policy paper on consumer privacy which may mark an important turning point in the effort to return control over how our online information is handled.

The report contains two main elements. The first…

The Majority Has Spoken: Email Privacy Reform Possible Right Now

The Majority Has Spoken: Email Privacy Reform Possible Right Now

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:57am

Something remarkable happened last night: A bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives agreed on something.

Yesterday, Reps Reps. Ron Desantis (R-Fla.) and Cedric Richmond (D-La.) became the 217th and 218th members of the House to…

Federal Trade Commission Needs to Move Beyond Reports When It Comes to Data Brokers

Federal Trade Commission Needs to Move Beyond Reports When It Comes to Data Brokers

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:10pm

“In the nearly two decades since the Commission first began to examine data brokers, little progress has been made to improve transparency and choice.”      - Conclusion, Federal Trade Commission Report, A Call for Transparency…

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