Blog of Rights

Voices on Human Gene Patents: Gene Discovery, Patents, and the Community

Voices on Human Gene Patents: Gene Discovery, Patents, and the Community

By Sue Friedman, DVM, Founder, Executive Director, FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered at 11:32am

Recently a dear friend sent me a link to an article in the February 1996 issue of Nature Medicine. The article...

Remembering the Real Purpose of Patents

Remembering the Real Purpose of Patents

By James Evans, Bryson Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Medicine, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill School of Medicine at 10:44am

James Evans, MD, PhD is the Bryson Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Medicine at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He was a member of the advisory committee to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services on…

Voices on Human Gene Patents: 7 Days Until the Supreme Court

Voices on Human Gene Patents: 7 Days Until the Supreme Court

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 10:37am

On April 15, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on a deceptively short question: Are human genes patentable? While the question's phrasing may be succinct and simple, the implications of the Court's answer are vast and critical. On behalf of researchers,…

Report Details Government’s Ability to Analyze Massive Aerial Surveillance Video Streams

Report Details Government’s Ability to Analyze Massive Aerial Surveillance Video Streams

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

Yesterday I wrote about Dayton Ohio’s plan for an aerial surveillance system similar to the “nightmare scenario” ARGUS wide-area surveillance technology. Actually, ARGUS is just the most advanced of a number of such “persistent wide-area surveillance”…

Anti-Prostitution Pledge Puts Free Speech at Risk

Anti-Prostitution Pledge Puts Free Speech at Risk

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 12:10pm

Yesterday, we filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Supreme Court in a case called United States Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, opposing the so-called "Anti-Prostitution Pledge." The Pledge is a…

SimCity and the Digital Divide

SimCity and the Digital Divide

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:14pm

I grew up in a non-Nintendo household, and so was weaned on PC games. One of my favorites was the mayor-simulator SimCity. Launched in 1989, the addictive and soon-to-be venerable title became the first name in sleepless nights for kids with limited…

New Expansion of Stalking Law Poses First Amendment Concerns

New Expansion of Stalking Law Poses First Amendment Concerns

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:55pm

Nestled away in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013), which was signed last week by President Obama and is otherwise a very good law, exists a provision that may significantly broaden the already overly expansive federal…

Towns Don't Need Tanks, But They Have Them

Towns Don't Need Tanks, But They Have Them

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU & Emma Andersson, Criminal Law Reform Project at 2:59pm

Keene, New Hampshire has a population of 23,409, except during the months of July and August when campers flock in for the summer. Keene's violent crime index? 134.4, compared to a national average of 213.6. Most common crime? Theft. Good thing the…

A Reality Check on Newtown: We Must Move Forward, Not Back

A Reality Check on Newtown: We Must Move Forward, Not Back

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 3:29pm

I, like most Americans, watched in horror as the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School unfurled last December. As a former elementary school teacher, I could not stop seeing my former students as possible victims, and I was angry, confused, and eager…