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.
Why You Should be 203 Percent Behind ECPA Reform

Why You Should be 203 Percent Behind ECPA Reform

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:46am
There's a wave of transparency reports sweeping the nation. In recent months a plethora of companies – including Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, and Twitter – have released these detailed documents, which describe the number of requests they get from the government to divulge their users' information and how they comply. Many of these reports are recent developments – Apple released its first report last week – and almost certainly spurred in some part by companies' desire to reassure users in light of the NSA scandals. Nonetheless it's a welcome development. As we have repeatedly said, the only way we can learn how our data is used is if companies tell us.
Giving Consumers Essential Transparency on Apps

Giving Consumers Essential Transparency on Apps

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:54am

Today the ACLU publicly supported a document that we believe will prove to be an important step forward in providing privacy transparency for mobile applications. After more than a year of negotiation among industry, trade associations and consumer…

The Biggest New Spying Program You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

The Biggest New Spying Program You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:18pm

Update: Since this piece was posted, the ACLU has filed FOIA requests seeking more information on data-mining by the NCTC. Read more »

What if a government spy agency had power to copy and data mine information about ordinary Americans…

The Slow, Quiet Death of Real ID

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:43am

It’s a strange situation. What if they passed a federal statute that no one obeyed? Typically this isn’t a problem – there are a host of federal entities tasked with making sure that what Congress passes is followed. But in the…

Permission to Work: The Government Database That May Stand Between You and Your Next Job

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:13pm

The government database is called E-Verify. Its job is simply stated: make a list of everyone who is eligible to work. The theory is this will prevent undocumented workers from getting jobs and end our immigration problems.

There are …

Body Scanner = Naked Movie Star Pictures; That Didn't Take Long

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:42pm

We're not the type to say "I told you so." Alright maybe we are. In this case we just couldn't help ourselves.

Since December, we've been expressing skepticism about the deployment of whole body imaging at airports. We call…

Technology Changes Things. Latest Example: Student Records.

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:16pm

Schools care about kids. Some are better than others but educators get into the business because they want to help kids grow and learn. Any teacher will tell you one of the key ingredients for doing that is knowing your kids. What kind of student…

Crop of image by luc legay via Flickr

An Important Review of Big Data

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:41am

Yesterday John Podesta, the president’s senior adviser, released a highly anticipated report addressing how the administration should tackle the challenges of big data in coming years. So how’d he do? Pretty well, actually. The report recognizes…

Tell the White House to Fix ECPA and Protect Our Electronic Privacy

Tell the White House to Fix ECPA and Protect Our Electronic Privacy

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:03am

This might come as a shock to you, but the privacy of many of your electronic communications has a six-month expiration date.

The angry email you wish you didn't send last spring where you said those unflattering things. That text message you…

Corporate America: We Want to Track You

Corporate America: We Want to Track You

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:44pm

On Monday an extraordinary letter went out from a who’s who of major corporations claiming a mandate to track all of us on the internet.  In tone and substance, it is an amazing, over-the-top screed against efforts to give consumers even…

Statistics image