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.).

Four More Years of Unchecked Spying, Surveillance and Secrecy

Four More Years of Unchecked Spying, Surveillance and Secrecy

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:22pm
Last night, Congress passed and the president signed a four-year extension of three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act. You may recall that the original expiration was scheduled for December 31, 2009 — and what did Congress do after 18 months of short term extensions, sporadic hearings and a markup or two? Nothing. The Patriot Act was reauthorized as-is without a single additional privacy protection. After a rollercoaster week of Patriot Act consideration there were some definite winners and losers:
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 #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…

CISPA Remains Fatally Flawed After Secret Committee Markup

CISPA Remains Fatally Flawed After Secret Committee Markup

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:20pm
.style3 {font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; } .style5 {font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; }

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Wednesday marked up CISPA,…

CISPA Claws Back to Life

CISPA Claws Back to Life

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:54pm

It's baa-aaack.

The House cybersecurity bill that allows the National Security Agency (NSA) and the military to collect your private internet records is scheduled for an encore appearance on Wednesday. House Intelligence Committee Chairman…

The Government Might Know You're Reading This

The Government Might Know You're Reading This

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:01pm

"If you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about."

Many Americans have said this, or heard it, when discussing the expanded surveillance capabilities the government has claimed since 9/11. But it turns out…

Government surveillance oversight

Congress Shouldn't Settle for the President's Opening Offer on NSA Reform

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:28pm

This is the first post in a three-part series.

Less than a year after the NSA's dragnet surveillance of Americans was first exposed to public scrutiny, the president has formally issued a proposal to end the bulk collection of our phone records.…

From POLITICO: The Privacy Risks of CISPA

From POLITICO: The Privacy Risks of CISPA

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:11am

Reports of significant data breaches make headlines ever more frequently, but lost in the cloak and dagger stories of cyberespionage is the impact proposed cybersecurity programs can have on privacy. The same Internet that terrorists, spies and criminals…

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.…

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...

Statistics image