Free Future

Photo of blueprint

Why Has the ACLU Hired an Internet Infrastructure Technologist?

By Daniel Kahn Gillmor, Technology Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 11:54am
Last March, I started working as a technologist for the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology project. Part of the job is helping the ACLU’s lawyers to better understand the technical details of their legal work. But I'm also taking the fight for civil liberties to obscure (to most people) standards bodies that are writing the rules for the technologies we will all use in the next few decades. These groups include the Internet Engineering Task Force and the World Wide Web Consortium, where I work on an alphabet soup of security protocols with names such as TLS, DNS, TCP, OpenPGP, HTTP, and others.
Photo of police standing with batons

Police Need to Make Body-Camera Policies Transparent

By Sonia Roubini, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 3:00pm

Body cameras are a hot topic these days in the wake of the Ferguson and Eric Garner controversies, as well as President Obama’s announcement that he will seek $75 million in funding for police body cameras and training. Body cameras are an important…

Supply-demand graphic by MIT OpenCourseWare

A Supply-Demand Curve for Privacy

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:15am

I recently wrote about some polling that Pew did on privacy, and its finding that Americans have very low confidence in the privacy and security of electronic communications channels. People feel more or less communicating on landline telephones, for…

Crop of painting 'An Old Scholar' by Salomon Koninck

Academic Freedom and the Right to Remain Anonymous Online

By Anonymous at 2:58pm

We are the founders of PubPeer.com, an online forum for scientific discussion of research scholarship. We and many of the users of our website are anonymous. That anonymity is important for free speech, for academic freedom, and for scientific inquiry.…

photo of drone flying

A Look at the Privacy Policies For the FAA's Six Drone Test Sites

By Nathaniel J. Turner, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:24pm

Last month, an Australian woman sunbathing topless in her back yard was accidentally captured in a photograph by a drone snapping pictures for a real estate listing. The picture was placed in online ads and billboards before the mistake was caught.…

Image of Lady Justice on camcorder screen

The System, Caught On Tape

By Peter Bibring, Director of Police Practices for the ACLU of Southern California at 12:15pm

Yesterday’s decision by a Staten Island grand jury not to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for having killed Eric Garner using a chokehold during an arrest for selling untaxed cigarettes has sparked enormous outcry and frustration. Garner’s…

Chris Rock on stage

Chris Rock Explains Why Privacy Matters

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:01pm

In an interview published in New York Magazine, Chris Rock and Frank Rich have a very interesting discussion about the effect of ubiquitous cell phones on the creative process for stand-up comics. Although as Rock says standup comedy is in some ways…

Image of radio signal in sky

ACLU Fights for Limits on Secret Phone Tracking

By Samia Hossain, William J. Brennan Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy, & Technology Project at 11:08am

In March of this year, Robert Harrison had a cell phone with him while he was inside his home. Though he has kept and used a cell phone as long as any of us, this time, things were different.

Unbeknownst to Harrison, Baltimore police officers…

Image of car with lights at night

Lessons of the Uber Privacy Scandal

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:12pm

Taxi-on-demand service Uber ran into hot water last week over reports that company executives have played fast and loose with some of the location data that the service records about its customers. A couple of thoughts about the scandal:

First,…

Photo of aircraft

ACLU Seeks Information About Airborne Cell Phone Snooping

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 7:59am

The ACLU is filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request today for information about a newly revealed Marshals Service program that uses aircraft to suck up location data from tens of thousands of people’s cell phones at a time.

The…