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.).

NSA Legislation Since the Leaks Began

NSA Legislation Since the Leaks Began

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:48am
Since the Guardian published the FISA Court order mandating Verizon Business Network Services hand over all its customers' phone records to the National Security Agency in early June, Congress has responded with bill after bill to rein in the NSA's surveillance programs, increase transparency, and reform how the secret FISA Court is staffed and operates.
CISPA Explainer #4: Is There Anything Besides Information-Sharing Hidden in CISPA?

CISPA Explainer #4: Is There Anything Besides Information-Sharing Hidden in CISPA?

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:13am

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...

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…

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…

Dianne Feinstein's Fake Surveillance Reform Bill

Dianne Feinstein's Fake Surveillance Reform Bill

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:55am

This was originally posted on The Guardian.

Members of Congress have introduced almost 30 separate bills to rein in NSA spying, increase transparency, or rework the secret court process that has sanctioned these programs. Two pieces of…

Setting the Bar for Intelligence Reform

Setting the Bar for Intelligence Reform

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:03am

Yesterday afternoon, the first shot in the fight for comprehensive intelligence reform was fired.

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mark Udall (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) held a press conference to discuss the government's…

The NSA Can Only Spy With A Little Help From Its Feds

The NSA Can Only Spy With A Little Help From Its Feds

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:51pm

This week the ACLU published a damning report chronicling the many ways the FBI has abused post-9/11 authorities to spy on everyday Americans. As we noted, the FBI is even enmeshed in the broad suspicionless NSA dragnet of American phone calls.

One…

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…

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...

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…

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