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.).

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.
A FOIA White Out

A FOIA White Out

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:46pm

Secret law exists inside the United States.

As we wrote a few weeks ago, one of the main issues discussed on the Senate floor during the FISA debate was secret law.  Under the law,  the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court makes…

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…

Warrantless Wiretapping Program Expires in Three Weeks: What Will the Senate Do?

Warrantless Wiretapping Program Expires in Three Weeks: What Will the Senate Do?

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:39am

As we've told you many times, we believe the FISA Amendments Act is unconstitutional and have taken it to the Supreme Court . There’s not a vote in sight in the Senate. Frankly, that’s not a bad thing. We won't be disappointed if it…

House to Vote on FISA Amendments Act Wednesday

House to Vote on FISA Amendments Act Wednesday

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:39pm

It’s back. On Wednesday the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a five-year reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA), the 2008 law that legalized the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program and more. It…

Senate Votes Down Improved Cybersecurity Bill

Senate Votes Down Improved Cybersecurity Bill

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:12pm

This morning, the Senate voted against moving forward on cybersecurity legislation, ending the bill’s chances at final passage.

As we told you earlier this week, the Senate version of the cybersecurity bill (S. 3414, the Cybersecurity…

Cyber Update: Do or Die Time

Cyber Update: Do or Die Time

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:40pm

Cybersecurity legislation is on the Senate floor at this very moment, and critical votes could start as early as this evening. Here’s your primer on what’s at stake and how we expect things to go down.

Where are we in the process?…

Sen. Franken To File Crucial Amendment to Cyber Bill

Sen. Franken To File Crucial Amendment to Cyber Bill

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:28pm

Last week, we gave you a quick rundown of the new privacy additions to S. 3414, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012.  Also known as the Lieberman-Collins bill, this legislation provides comprehensive cybersecurity reform. 

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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…

New Senate Cyber Bill No Better Than Last Version

New Senate Cyber Bill No Better Than Last Version

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:41pm

Yesterday, Republican Senators introduced a rewrite of their cybersecurity bill, known as SECURE IT. Advocates registered their opposition to the bill last month and its CISPA-like expansion of military authority to collect sensitive information…

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