Free Future

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Investigating the Imaginary Thought Police

By Sarah Harrison, Washington Legislative Office at 10:14am
Earlier this year, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, abruptly abandoned a survey of Americans’ media information needs, which, despite its modest scope, would have provided crucial data for the FCC in its efforts to maintain viewpoint diversity in our increasingly concentrated media markets.
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…

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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…

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The Surveillance Machine Moves to Defend Itself

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:28am

In a pair of stories this past weekend, the Washington Post and the AP reported on the construction of an ambitious surveillance system by which the government aims to carry out detailed surveillance of its own employees.

Great, you say, our…

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Federal Court Rules DOJ’s Location Tracking Memos Can Stay Secret

By Brian Hauss, Legal Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 2:00pm

Yesterday, a federal district court ruled that the Justice Department does not need to disclose two secret memos providing guidance to federal prosecutors and investigators regarding the use of GPS devices and other location tracking technologies.…

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License Plate Scanners Also Taking Photos of Drivers and Passengers

By Sonia Roubini, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:01am

The Drug Enforcement Administration is using its license plate reader program not only to track drivers’ locations, but also to photograph these drivers and their passengers, according to newly disclosed records obtained by the ACLU via a Freedom…

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Police Officer Discretion in the Use of Body Worn Cameras

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:30pm

In our October 2013 policy white paper on police body cameras, we struggled with how to ensure that the cameras would serve as an effective oversight mechanism for police while not unduly invading privacy. We pointed out that purely from an oversight…

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What Should We Think About Big Data That Aims to Help People?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:36pm

A data analytics company collects a variety of information about individuals in New York City, including demographic data, court records, employment status, education level, age, and any history of interaction with the foster care system or use of…

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Christie Use of Tollbooth Data and Why Location Privacy Must Be Protected

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:26am

David Sirota of the International Business Times reported last week that Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and his appointee, the deputy governor of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, had released a political opponent's private tollbooth…

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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…