Blog of Rights

Gabe
Rottman

Gabe Rottman is a legislative counsel/policy advisor in the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, focusing on the First Amendment. In that role, Rottman advocates in Congress and the federal agencies for the freedoms of speech, press, assembly and petition, including issues related to intellectual property, telecommunications regulation, media law, criminal speech restrictions and the rights of protesters.  Prior to this position, he served as an attorney in private practice and as a senior writer and communications specialist for the ACLU.

Open Source Intelligence and Crime Prevention

Open Source Intelligence and Crime Prevention

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:00pm
Buried on page A25 of Thursday’s New York Times is a tiny story on what’s likely to become a big problem after the recent horrific mass shooting. According to the report, top intelligence officials in the New York City Police Department met on Thursday to explore ways to identify “deranged” shooters before any attack. One of these tactics would involve “creating an algorithm” to identify keywords in online public sources indicative of an impending incident. In other words, they seek to build an algorithm to constantly monitor Facebook and Twitter for terms like “shoot” or “kill.”
The FCC's DIY Net Neutrality Fix

The FCC's DIY Net Neutrality Fix

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:24pm

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a long-awaited decision in a challenge to the Federal Communications Commission’s “net neutrality” or “open internet” regulations. As expected, the court invalidated two of these rules.

One…

IRS Abuses Power in Targeting Tea Party

IRS Abuses Power in Targeting Tea Party

By Michael Macleod-Ball, Chief of Staff, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:58am

The extraordinary revelation this week that the Internal Revenue Service targeted tea party groups for more aggressive enforcement highlights exactly why caution is needed in any response to the much-vilified Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC.

The Freedom to Game

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:17pm

In 1954, German-American psychiatrist Fredric Wertham published the now infamous Seduction of the Innocent, a book chronicling the supposed harm caused to America's youth by comic books. Wertham's book prompted a wave of hand-wringing around the…

Worst Facts Make Worst Law with Violent Video Games

Worst Facts Make Worst Law with Violent Video Games

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:43pm

It’s perfectly understandable that after the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., everyone is casting about for an answer to a singular question: why?

As past is prologue, we shouldn’t be surprised that several members of Congress have settled…

An Attack on the Press, on Both Sides of the Pond

An Attack on the Press, on Both Sides of the Pond

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:05am

The First Amendment may be on shaky ground here in the United States, but at least most folks, on both the left and right, agree that freedom of the press is a good thing – or, at least, a necessary evil.

Not so much across the pond. This…

Radically Wrong: The Right to Think Dangerous Thoughts

Radically Wrong: The Right to Think Dangerous Thoughts

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:14am

Despite evidence to the contrary, the government continues to embrace a theory that adopting radical ideas is a first step toward terrorist violence. Based on this discredited model, "preventive" policies are being pursued, resulting in discrimination, suspicionless surveillance of entire communities, and selective law enforcement against belief communities and political activists.

Petraeus and the Perils of Federal Cyber-Stalking Laws

Petraeus and the Perils of Federal Cyber-Stalking Laws

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:52am

The Petraeus Affair Affair is salacious stuff. It also, naturally, raises a lot of questions about privacy. But there’s also an interesting First Amendment angle underneath the sensation: why did the FBI investigate Paula Broadwell—the…

FTC Proposes Changes to Privacy Law That Collide With Free Speech

FTC Proposes Changes to Privacy Law That Collide With Free Speech

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:59am

Back in the waning years of the Clinton administration, Congress quietly enacted an important internet privacy bill (the passage of which was overshadowed by other, more salacious developments). The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”)…

Ready to Occupy? What You Need to Know about H.R. 347, the "Criminalizing Protest" Law

Ready to Occupy? What You Need to Know about H.R. 347, the "Criminalizing Protest" Law

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:35am

Occupy, NATO and the party conventions are all coming up this year. Know your rights under the newly signed protest law.

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