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.
DOJ Ducks Oversight On Location Tracking

DOJ Ducks Oversight On Location Tracking

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:17pm

How is the Department of Justice using location tracking? If you were looking for an answer to this simple question, this was not the week. Instead, as Congress attempts to oversee this crucial privacy question, it is getting double talk and stonewalling.

Let’s…

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…

DOJ Cell Phone Tracking: Excellent questions, Senator

DOJ Cell Phone Tracking: Excellent questions, Senator

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:51pm

Sen. Al Franken (D- MN) is trying to get some answers to straightforward questions about cell-phone location tracking. Today, using our recent nationwide FOIA as a jumping off point, he sent a letter to the Department of Justice asking them to provide basic information about a practice that, in the words of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, “generates a precise, comprehensive record of a person’s public movements that reflects a wealth of detail about her familial, political, professional, religious, and sexual associations.”

Password Protection Act of 2012: A Good Start Against Employer Snooping

Password Protection Act of 2012: A Good Start Against Employer Snooping

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:06pm

Today Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Representative Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and a number of cosponsors filed the Password Protection Act of 2012 in the Senate and House to prevent employers from strong-arming employers and job applicants into sharing…

Identity Theft and the War on Immigrants

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:41pm

The war on America's immigrants can lead to some very strange results. In a classic example, last year Republicans actually said, when it comes to immigration at least, new government regulations actually create jobs. But these attacks on immigrants…

Making Do Not Track a Reality

Making Do Not Track a Reality

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 7:24pm

The ACLU has stated concern again and again about the new model of internet advertising which relies heavily on tracking users as they move from website to website and creates a detailed profile about their viewing habits. Our suggested solution…

A Primer for the Online Privacy Multistakeholder Process

A Primer for the Online Privacy Multistakeholder Process

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:12pm

What the heck is a multistakeholder process (MSP)? The word multistakeholder is so obscure that my computer's spell check doesn't even recognize it, yet it's come to dominate the online privacy conversation in recent weeks. That discussion will…

FTC Report: A Roadmap for Future Success?

FTC Report: A Roadmap for Future Success?

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:21pm

The FTC's newly released privacy report is a roadmap to success on consumer privacy — now it's up to Congress to follow the directions

Reading the Tea Leaves on Real ID

Reading the Tea Leaves on Real ID

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:13pm

When a hearing is calm and subdued on an issue that has been contentious for seven years, is it news? Maybe - when that issue is Real ID. I blogged last fall about how Real ID was dead and the committee room for today's House Judiciary Committee…

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