Free Future

filing cabinet

U.S. Marshals Seize Local Cops’ Cell Phone Tracking Files in Extraordinary Attempt to Keep Information From Public

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:13pm
A run-of-the-mill public records request about cell phone surveillance submitted to a local police department in Florida has unearthed blatant violations of open government laws, including an incredible seizure of state records by the U.S. Marshals Service, which is part of the Justice Department. Today the ACLU and the ACLU of Florida filed an emergency motion in state court to preserve the public’s right of access to government records.
Cell phone tower

New York Court Recognizes Privacy-Invasive Nature of Cell Tower Dumps But Stops Short of Requiring a Warrant

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:49pm

A magistrate judge in New York has become only the second federal judge to issue a public ruling addressing the lawfulness of so-called “tower dumps”—the intrusive practice by which the government acquires location information for hundreds or…

Federal Trade Commission Needs to Move Beyond Reports When It Comes to Data Brokers

Federal Trade Commission Needs to Move Beyond Reports When It Comes to Data Brokers

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:10pm

“In the nearly two decades since the Commission first began to examine data brokers, little progress has been made to improve transparency and choice.”      - Conclusion, Federal Trade Commission Report, A Call for Transparency…

Privacy Please laptop

How to Protect the Most Privacy with the Least Effort: Change Search Engines

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:15am

If you use Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any other service that tracks your search terms, there is no reason not to change search engines today.

When you do a search with these companies, they log your IP address and search terms, and store that…

Judge with gavel

A Partial Victory For Judicial Transparency

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 12:55pm

In a partial victory for the public’s right to access and scrutinize court proceedings, a federal judge recently made public most of two previously sealed opinions authorizing gag orders on Twitter and Yahoo to prevent the companies from disclosing…

Crop of photo by Volker Neumann via Flickr

San Francisco Woman Pulled Out of Car at Gunpoint Because of License Plate Reader Error

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 5:13pm

A lawsuit pertaining to the use of license plate readers in San Francisco illustrates how dangerous it can be when police officers turn off their eyes, ears, and brains, and mistakenly rely on imperfect technologies to tell them who’s up to no good.

On…

Crop of photo by Paul Weiskel used by permission

Law Enforcement’s Lobbying Priority In States Is Fighting Transparency

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 9:38am

The ACLU has been working in states across the country on a variety of laws pertaining to law enforcement agencies and their power to gather and access information about us—including location tracking, drones, automatic license plate readers, and…

This Revolution Should Not Be Televised

This Revolution Should Not Be Televised

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:10pm

(Updated below)

The Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland announced this week that it will be live-tweeting a prostitution sting. With breathless glee, the press release tells us that "PGPD's Vice Unit will conduct a prostitution…

Crop of image by luc legay via Flickr

An Important Review of Big Data

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:41am

Yesterday John Podesta, the president’s senior adviser, released a highly anticipated report addressing how the administration should tackle the challenges of big data in coming years. So how’d he do? Pretty well, actually. The report recognizes…

Crop of image by Tom Blackwell via Flickr

Drones Manufacturer Allies With ACLU to Call For Pro-Industry Privacy Regulation

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 8:11am

Within any industry, there are always those with a narrow grasp of their interests, and those with the strategic vision to see the industry’s deeper interest. My colleague Sarah Preston of the ACLU of North Carolina has co-authored an op-ed in the…