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.).

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, the FBI is now notifying NSL recipients of their right to judicial review as a result of years of ACLU client litigation. 

Keep Domestic Cybersecurity Efforts in Civilian Hands

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 8:37am

Last night the House of Representatives passed HR 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA. We’ve written about the many privacy problems with this bill, but here I would like to focus on one of its biggest and most fundamental…

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.

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…

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.

Howlers on the Patriot Act

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project & Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:44pm

The Patriot Act has been surrounded by a cloud of fear-mongering since it was reintroduced almost immediately after the 9/11 attacks and rushed through Congress, without any finding that the sweeping new powers granted by the act had anything to do…

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…

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.…

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…

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