Blog of Rights

Michelle
Richardson

Michelle Richardson (@Richardson_Mich) is a Legislative Counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office where she focuses on national security and government transparency issues such as the Patriot Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, cybersecurity, state secrets and the Freedom of Information Act. Before coming to the ACLU in 2006, Richardson served as counsel to the House Judiciary Committee where she specialized in national security, civil rights and constitutional issues for Democratic Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.).

Five Surveillance Myths Stalling NSA Reform, Debunked

Five Surveillance Myths Stalling NSA Reform, Debunked

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:57pm
These piece ran originally at The Guardian.
Misdirection: The House Intelligence Committee’s Misleading Patriot Act Talking Points

Misdirection: The House Intelligence Committee’s Misleading Patriot Act Talking Points

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:46pm

This week the House Intelligence Committee circulated nine talking points to its members explaining why the dragnet collection of innocent Americans’ call records is both legal and effective at stopping terrorism. After reviewing the document, the ACLU has gone point-by-point, making notes that either refute or raise serious doubts about almost every assertion in the one-pager. Just click on the document below and hover on the red dots to see our comments.

CISPA Explainer #2: With Whom Can Information Be Shared?

CISPA Explainer #2: With Whom Can Information Be Shared?

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:20am

We've written extensively about CISPA over the last year, but since the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is set to mark the bill up next week, and the full House to vote on it the week after that, we're dissecting its shortcomings.…

CISPA Explainer #1: What Information Can Be Shared?

CISPA Explainer #1: What Information Can Be Shared?

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:05am

We've written extensively about CISPA over the last year, but since the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is set to mark the bill up next week, and the full House to vote on it the week after that, we're posting in more depth about its…

President Obama Shows No CISPA-like Invasion of Privacy Needed to Defend Critical Infrastructure

President Obama Shows No CISPA-like Invasion of Privacy Needed to Defend Critical Infrastructure

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:48pm

Last night the President signed an executive order (EO) aimed at ramping up the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure...

New Cybersecurity Amendments Unveiled to Address Privacy Concerns

New Cybersecurity Amendments Unveiled to Address Privacy Concerns

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:28pm

No cyber news is usually good news, but today is an exception.  Senators have unveiled significant privacy amendments that will be incorporated into S. 2105, the Cybersecurity Act.  Authored by Sens. Lieberman, Feinstein, Rockefeller and…

Warrantless Wiretapping Wins Again

Warrantless Wiretapping Wins Again

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:23pm

It’s official.  The Senate voted 72-23 last week to extend the FISA Amendments Act another five years, which President Obama signed Sunday. Unfortunately, the public discussion of George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program may…

Keep Domestic Cybersecurity Efforts in Civilian Hands

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 8:37am

Last night the House of Representatives passed HR 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA. We’ve written about the many privacy problems with this bill, but here I would like to focus on one of its biggest and most fundamental…

Gang of Eight Members Want a Bigger Gang

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:37pm

The “gang of eight” is a group of members of Congress with a pretty sweet name that includes the leaders, both Democrat and Republican, of the Senate and House, as well as the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence…

Way to go DHS! And Shame on the Rest of You

Way to go DHS! And Shame on the Rest of You

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:04am

A very important government report on privacy and cybersecurity programs flew under the radar last week.

Produced following President Obama's executive order from last February, agencies were directed to explain how they share our private information,…

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