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.).

FISA Amendments Act is Back

FISA Amendments Act is Back

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:28am
Remember the George W. Bush warrantless wiretapping program? The one that was so illegal that Congress had to pass a special law to ensure that no one was prosecuted for it or sued by their customers for facilitating it? And was found by independent reviewers to be pretty pointless anyway? And was then brilliantly codified and written into stone by Congress? And which almost immediately went off the rails, being used to collect all sorts of stuff it wasn’t supposed to? It’s back!

Next Round in Cybersecurity Battle: The Senate

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:36pm

Two weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). But thanks to internet activism and advocacy by organizations like the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, 168 Congressmen voted…

National Security Letters: A Note On Numbers

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 7:53pm

A new article in Wired covers the evolution of the gag orders that come with national security letters (NSLs), secret FBI demands for your communication, internet, financial and credit records in terrorism investigations. As we wrote on Wednesday,…

In Advance of CISPA Vote, Congress Needs to Hear From You

In Advance of CISPA Vote, Congress Needs to Hear From You

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:53pm

Call your representatives today and urge them not to sacrifice the civil liberties of Internet users in any cybersecurity legislation.

Opposition to CISPA is Growing!

Opposition to CISPA is Growing!

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:01pm

It's day two of "cyber week" in the House, and there is good news to report: opposition to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act is growing.

First, conservatives made a big splash over the last several days by…

Proposed Amendments to #CISPA Don't Protect Privacy

Proposed Amendments to #CISPA Don't Protect Privacy

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:48am

We outline why privacy advocates continue to oppose CISPA, despite amendments proposed in committee yesterday.

Ice Cream: Very, Very Good. Cybersecurity Bill: Not So Much

Ice Cream: Very, Very Good. Cybersecurity Bill: Not So Much

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 7:44pm

Today, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee held a hearing on S. 2105, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, sponsored by Sens. Lieberman, Collins, Rockefeller and Feinstein. Introduced earlier this week, this bill delivers the…

Happy Cybersecurity Awareness Month!

Happy Cybersecurity Awareness Month!

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:50pm

We would like to educate you about how cybersecurity may justify the next series of big brother powers.

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…

FISA Train Speeds Off the Tracks

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:21pm
Yesterday the FISA train came off the rails in a big way - oddly enough, right as the House was taking up railroad safety. After beginning a debate in the morning, then breaking for a short recess, the Republicans offered a particularly nasty motion…
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