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.”
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…

Selling Drugs and the First Amendment

Selling Drugs and the First Amendment

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:46pm

A few folks have asked me about the recent Second Circuit decision in United States v. Caronia, in which the court found that criminalizing the promotion of “off-label” pharmaceutical uses by a drug company sales representative violated…

Hamas, Twitter and the First Amendment

Hamas, Twitter and the First Amendment

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:25pm

With one major exception, the Roberts Court has been quite protective of unpopular (and even revolting) speech under the First Amendment. That exception, however, is a doozy. It involves a statute criminalizing “material support” for terrorism,…

Blocked Leaks Bill More About Message Discipline Than National Security

Blocked Leaks Bill More About Message Discipline Than National Security

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:36pm

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) deserves significant credit for placing a hold today on a draft intelligence spending bill that would place enormous new obstacles in the path of journalists trying to report on government illegality, fraud and waste in the intelligence…

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…

Get Ready for A Scintillating Discussion on the Finer Points of IP and Foreign Trade Policy

Get Ready for A Scintillating Discussion on the Finer Points of IP and Foreign Trade Policy

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:34pm

So, Wednesday, I’ll be participating in an “Ask Me Anything,” or AMA, discussion on Reddit.  It amazes me that folks are even interested, but the topic will be the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (“TPP”). 

A "Foreign Policy Exception" to the First Amendment?

A "Foreign Policy Exception" to the First Amendment?

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:07pm

At a time when the anger abroad over the Innocence of Muslims video shows no signs of abating, President Obama gave an impassioned speech Tuesday at the United Nations that was a full-throated, unqualified defense of the American tradition of free…

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”)…

Stolen Valor Vote in House Today

Stolen Valor Vote in House Today

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:22pm

The second coming of the “Stolen Valor” Act (the Supreme Court struck down the first iteration on First Amendment grounds last term) is on the House’s “suspension” calendar today, meaning it will pass with a two-thirds…

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