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.).

The USA FREEDOM Act is Real Spying Reform

The USA FREEDOM Act is Real Spying Reform

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:11am
Over the last several months, members of Congress have introduced at least two dozen spying reform and transparency bills. Today, a new proposal called the USA FREEDOM Act from Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was introduced to significantly limit the collection and use of Americans' information under our nation's spying laws. The ACLU strongly supports the legislation.
CISPA Remains Fatally Flawed After Secret Committee Markup

CISPA Remains Fatally Flawed After Secret Committee Markup

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:20pm
.style3 {font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; } .style5 {font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; }

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Wednesday marked up CISPA,…

Cyber Protection Act Too Broad, Infringes on Our Privacy Rights

Cyber Protection Act Too Broad, Infringes on Our Privacy Rights

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:12am

This week is “Cybersecurity Week” in the House of Representatives, and members will vote on a handful of bills intended to protect cybersecurity — the ability to prevent and respond to threats from foreign governments, terrorists…

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…

CISPA Explainer #3: What Can Be Done With Information After It Is Shared?

CISPA Explainer #3: What Can Be Done With Information After It Is Shared?

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:09am

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...

The Government Might Know You're Reading This

The Government Might Know You're Reading This

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:01pm

"If you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about."

Many Americans have said this, or heard it, when discussing the expanded surveillance capabilities the government has claimed since 9/11. But it turns out…

The Nine Things You Should Know About the NSA Recommendations From the President’s Review Group

The Nine Things You Should Know About the NSA Recommendations From the President’s Review Group

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:00am

The President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies just issued a report that unequivocally rejected the notion that privacy and civil liberties must be sacrificed in order to achieve a balance with national security. Liberty and Security in a Changing World includes 46 recommendations for how to reform Intelligence Community programs and practices, several of which would go a long way toward protecting Americans' rights. Here are the nine most important things you need to know about those recommendations.

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…

Misdirection: The House Intelligence Committee’s Misleading Patriot Act Talking Points

Misdirection: The House Intelligence Committee’s Misleading Patriot Act Talking Points

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:46pm

This week the House Intelligence Committee circulated nine talking points to its members explaining why the dragnet collection of innocent Americans’ call records is both legal and effective at stopping terrorism. After reviewing the document, the ACLU has gone point-by-point, making notes that either refute or raise serious doubts about almost every assertion in the one-pager. Just click on the document below and hover on the red dots to see our comments.

Statistics image