Blog of Rights

Michael
German
Comey's Hollow MLK Guidance to FBI Agents

Comey's Hollow MLK Guidance to FBI Agents

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:21am
Newly sworn in FBI Director James Comey has ordered all new FBI agent trainees to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC, so they can reflect on the FBI's infamous history of hounding the civil rights leader and recognize "the dangers in becoming untethered to oversight and accountability."
The Government is Spying on You: ACLU Releases New Evidence of Overly Broad Surveillance of Everyday Activities

The Government is Spying on You: ACLU Releases New Evidence of Overly Broad Surveillance of Everyday Activities

By Julia Harumi Mass, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California & Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:15am

This was originally posted by the ACLU of Northern California.

For years, we at the ACLU have been warning that the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative – a vast information sharing program that encourages the collection and…

America, NSA Surveillance is Bad for Business

America, NSA Surveillance is Bad for Business

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:50am

The New York Times last week provided new information that clarified how a key, yet unnamed, National Security Agency surveillance program designed to "target" foreigners' Internet communications actually worked, namely by secretly snatching and sifting…

Edward Snowden is a Whistleblower

Edward Snowden is a Whistleblower

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:00am

My American Civil Liberties Union colleagues and I have been extremely busy since the Guardian and the Washington Post published leaked classified documents exposing the scope of the...

Is the Spying Comey Approved More Important Than the Spying He Opposed?

Is the Spying Comey Approved More Important Than the Spying He Opposed?

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:05pm

What's worse than waterboarding and letting the government wiretap Americans without warrants? It's not a riddle; it is a question we need James Comey to answer, particularly if President Obama nominates him to lead the FBI for the next 10 years.

You…

Does Intelligence Have to be so Unintelligent?

Does Intelligence Have to be so Unintelligent?

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:27pm

You would think that with an annual budget topping $70 billion, the intelligence community would employ the most rigorous scientific research methods and conduct exacting empirical studies to support its assumptions and evaluate the effectiveness of…

Radically Wrong: A Counterproductive Approach to Counterterrorism

Radically Wrong: A Counterproductive Approach to Counterterrorism

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:52am

Governments often interpret radical ideas that challenge the existing social and political orthodoxy as threatening...

Who’s a Radical Now?

Who’s a Radical Now?

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:10am

The Bipartisan Policy Center published a report last week called, “Countering Online Radicalization in America,” which strongly endorsed First Amendment principles in rejecting censorship as an appropriate tactic for addressing violent…

Fusion Centers: Too Much (Bad) Information

Fusion Centers: Too Much (Bad) Information

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:32pm

The official verdict is finally in, thanks to a congressional report out today: state and local law enforcement intelligence “fusion centers” funded by the Department of Homeland Security are failing to safeguard both our constitutional…

Manufacturing a “Black Separatist” Threat and Other Dubious Claims: Bias in Newly Released FBI Terrorism Training Materials

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:31pm

In a throwback to the J. Edgar Hoover-era COINTELPRO investigations targeting civil rights and anti-war activists, the FBI is now training its agents to be on the lookout for "Black Separatist" terrorists, according to FBI training materials released today by the ACLU. These new disclosures, obtained through Freedom of Information Act litigation, are the latest in a growing flood of FBI training materials that include factually flawed and biased information.

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