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.).

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 sunsets on Dec. 31, as scheduled.
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?…

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…

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…

Cybersecurity Bill Advances in House – But Does it Advance Privacy?

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:06pm

Wednesday, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity passed a bill that will permit greater information sharing for cybersecurity efforts. Called the PRECISE Act, the bill as reported out of the subcommittee, will create an exception…

FBI's Latest Power Grab Is a Bold and Unnecessary Move

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:17pm

What do the ACLU, the former director of the NSA and a tech industry lawyer all have in common (and this is not a joke)? They believe that the government's recent request to let the FBI get Americans' internet use records in national security investigations…

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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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…

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.

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