Free Future

Petraeus and the Perils of Federal Cyber-Stalking Laws

Petraeus and the Perils of Federal Cyber-Stalking Laws

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:52am
The Petraeus Affair Affair is salacious stuff. It also, naturally, raises a lot of questions about privacy. But there’s also an interesting First Amendment angle underneath the sensation: why did the FBI investigate Paula Broadwell—the Petraeus biographer and paramour who allegedly sent “harassing” emails to Tampa housewife Jill Kelley—in the first place? The Daily Beast reported Tuesday that none of the Broadwell emails contained “overt threats,” and really amounted to “cat-fight stuff” (a source’s words, not mine). Further, it appears the email that initially prompted Kelley to go to the FBI (titled “kelleypatrol”) was forwarded by General Allen, not sent directly. And, apparently, prosecutors expressed doubt that any of the emails constituted a threat.
ACLU Sues Over Abuse Of Photographers By Border Patrol Agents

ACLU Sues Over Abuse Of Photographers By Border Patrol Agents

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:42pm

The ACLU of San Diego filed a lawsuit today against the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) for violating the constitutional rights of two photographers, and for maintaining an official policy prohibiting the use of cameras and video recorders…

ICE Domain Name Seizures Threaten Due Process and First Amendment Rights

ICE Domain Name Seizures Threaten Due Process and First Amendment Rights

By Agatha M. Cole at 4:54pm

Guest blogger Agatha M. Cole is a J.D. candidate, Cardozo Law School, Class of 2013

The ongoing controversy surrounding domain name seizures under "Operation In Our Sites" seems to be reaching new heights. DHS launched Operation In…

Smokey Says, Get a Permit, Shutterbug

Smokey Says, Get a Permit, Shutterbug

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:39pm

Well, sort of.

First Amendment advocates have expressed escalating concern in recent days over a U.S. Forest Service rule requiring permits for photographers in national forests. In particular what is at issue is a new proposed Forest Service…

Nothing to See Here! Censoring 'The Innocence of Muslims'

Nothing to See Here! Censoring 'The Innocence of Muslims'

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:32pm

It's likely you haven't escaped the roiling controversy generated by the film The Innocence of Muslims. This "film" has alternately been described as: a deliberate provocation of Muslims, a launching point for a conversation about free speech, a trigger…

The Three Dimensions of the Privacy Apocalypse

The Three Dimensions of the Privacy Apocalypse

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:34am

Recent reports have revealed that several companies are currently pushing “intelligent street lights” that are capable of being loaded with various kinds of sensors including, as Reuters reported late last month,

sensors for moisture,…

Boston Police Store License Plate Data For “Intelligence” Purposes

Boston Police Store License Plate Data For “Intelligence” Purposes

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 2:29pm

This summer ACLU affiliates all around the country filed open-records requests seeking information about how government agencies are using automated license plate readers. One set of records, released this week to the ACLU of Massachusetts by the police…

Apple, Drone Strikes, and the Limits of Censorship

Apple, Drone Strikes, and the Limits of Censorship

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:55pm

Wired reported last week that the Apple App Store has rejected an app that compiles news reports in order to map overseas U.S. drone strikes, and provide users a pop-up notification whenever a drone strike has been reported.

Apple rejected…

If Police Want Your Cell Phone Video As Evidence, Can You Just Email the File to Them?

If Police Want Your Cell Phone Video As Evidence, Can You Just Email the File to Them?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:21pm

The New York Times has an interesting story on the police seizure of witnesses’ cell phones after the shooting of a knife-wielding man in Times Square on Saturday. I wrote about that issue a few weeks ago, and how the DC police department issued…

Government Wins Right to Pretend That Cables Released by WikiLeaks Are Still Secret

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:28pm

This morning a federal judge ruled that the government is free to continue pretending that the contents of State Department diplomatic cables already disclosed by WikiLeaks are secret. The case concerns an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request seeking…