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.

Rebooting Net Neutrality

Rebooting Net Neutrality

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:33pm
The Federal Communications Commission has taken the first step in rebooting the net neutrality rules. Today's announcement by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler follows a major D.C. Circuit decision this year, which struck down the existing rules requiring that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) treat all data on the internet equally, while keeping the door open for future FCC action to prevent broadband providers from discriminating against or blocking certain websites or services.
Dragneting the Modern Media

Dragneting the Modern Media

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:40pm

We're used to talking about press freedoms in the context of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom . . . of the press." But, especially in light of the ACLU's recent FBI report, Unleashed and Unaccountable, we…

Unfrackingbelievable

Unfrackingbelievable

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:40pm

Earlier this month, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette managed to unseal an extraordinary court transcript. In it, a local court approved an unusual settlement agreement between the Hallowich family and several natural gas companies, including Texas-based…

The Darker Side of the DOJ Press Guidelines

The Darker Side of the DOJ Press Guidelines

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:26pm

In mid-July, the attorney general released guidelines about when and how the Justice Department can investigate journalists in the aftermath of the AP and James Rosen scandals. In my last post, I explained why the new limits on when the DOJ can delay…

The Biggest Reform in the New DOJ Media Guidelines

The Biggest Reform in the New DOJ Media Guidelines

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:24am

Some have been dismissive of the reforms in the new Justice Department guidelines governing investigations of members of the news media. But I'm not so pessimistic, at least with respect to the most significant change, which could have possibly prevented…

Far More than a Half-Measure on News Media Investigations

Far More than a Half-Measure on News Media Investigations

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:06am

Late last week, the attorney general released a report on new guidelines governing when and how the Justice Department can investigate members of the news media.

Prompted by the controversies over the excessively broad subpoena issued to the…

Responding to The Washington Post's Walter Pincus on Leaks and Shield Laws

Responding to The Washington Post's Walter Pincus on Leaks and Shield Laws

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:11pm

Washington Post national security reporter Walter Pincus has recently written several columns criticizing the press and First Amendment advocates...

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.

SimCity and the Digital Divide

SimCity and the Digital Divide

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:14pm

I grew up in a non-Nintendo household, and so was weaned on PC games. One of my favorites was the mayor-simulator SimCity. Launched in 1989, the addictive and soon-to-be venerable title became the first name in sleepless nights for kids with limited…

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…

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