Free Future

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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.
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.…

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Keep it Simple With Net Neutrality

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:58pm

Chairman Tom Wheeler at the Federal Communications Commission is moving in the right direction toward true net neutrality. He deserves some plaudits for abandoning the deeply flawed proposal put forward last May, which would have allowed broadband…

FTC Needs to Make Sure Companies Aren’t Using Big Data to Discriminate

FTC Needs to Make Sure Companies Aren’t Using Big Data to Discriminate

By Rachel Goodman, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 2:45pm

The ACLU filed comments today with the FTC urging it and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to investigate whether big data is being used in online marketing in ways that are racially discriminatory. If companies are in fact engaging in this…

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On the Creation of Giant Voiceprint Databases

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:50am

The Associated Press ran a story (along with two sidebars) this week on the use of voiceprints by big banks and other institutions. Those companies say they are using the technology to fight fraud, but in the process they are apparently compiling large…

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Up to 20% of Border Patrol Drone Flights Are Inside the United States

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 7:46am

The GAO released a report Tuesday on Customs and Border Patrol’s use of Predator drones in which it revealed that up to 20 percent of the CBP’s drone flight hours were spent in airspace inside “border and coastal areas."

Drone technology…

Documents Suggest Maker of Controversial Surveillance Tool Misled the FCC

Documents Suggest Maker of Controversial Surveillance Tool Misled the FCC

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project & Nicole Ozer, Technology & Civil Liberties Policy Director, ACLU of Northern California at 10:10am

New documents obtained by the ACLU of Northern California appear to show the Florida-based Harris Corporation misleading the Federal Communications Commission while seeking authorization to sell its line of Stingray cell phone surveillance gear to…

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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…

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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…

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Utah Enacts Significant Location and Communications Privacy Bill

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 3:53pm

On Monday, Utah became the first state to enact legislation simultaneously protecting location information and electronic communications content, regardless of age, from government access—ensuring that state and local law enforcement can only access…