Blog of Rights

Photo of tangled map

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 providers to create fast lanes on the internet for those who can pay (and traffic jams for the rest of us).
Ferguson's No-Media Zone Extended to the Skies

Ferguson's No-Media Zone Extended to the Skies

By Sonia Roubini, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 1:31pm

It appears the Federal Aviation Administration may have fallen into the "constitutional sinkhole" that is Ferguson, Missouri.

Earlier this week, the Associated Press released an alarming set of documents revealing the FAA's decision to approve…

Legislating Catcalling Comes With Real Risks

Legislating Catcalling Comes With Real Risks

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:00am

The piece below was first published as part of the New York Times Room for Debate feature "Do We Need a Law Against Catcalling?" The debate used this conversation starter:

Hollaback!, an anti-street harassment organization, released…

Eight Police Officers Fired 46 Times at My Mentally Ill Son for Holding a Pen Knife

Eight Police Officers Fired 46 Times at My Mentally Ill Son for Holding a Pen Knife

By Jewel Hall at 5:05pm

The following is an excerpt from an interview with Jewel Hall conducted by the ACLU of Michigan about the killing in 2012 of her son Milton by eight police officers. Parts of her interview appear in the video below, which also includes footage of the…

When Smart Gets Scary: Invasion of the Data Snatchers

When Smart Gets Scary: Invasion of the Data Snatchers

By Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 4:54pm

Smartphones and smart refrigerators and smartwatches, oh my.

I know, I know, it doesn't sound scary, but more and more, the things we own are being hooked up to the Internet and quietly collecting data on us, which is then packaged and sold…

Do We Really Still Need Free Speech Week?

Do We Really Still Need Free Speech Week?

By Tony Rothert, Legal Director, ACLU of Missouri at 1:43pm

You bet. More than two centuries since the Bill of Rights was drafted, we continue to see a fundamental lack of understanding on government's part of just what freedom of speech means. Nowhere was that more apparent recently than in a Missouri suburb…

Free Speech for Some Means Free Speech for None

Free Speech for Some Means Free Speech for None

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:44pm

In honor of Free Speech Week, let's take a moment to acknowledge the obvious. Free speech is incredibly, almost unbelievably important, especially in a democracy.

It can also be unpleasant, uncomfortable and even downright offensive. Which…

On Leak Prosecutions, Obama Takes it to 11. (Or Should We Say 526?)

On Leak Prosecutions, Obama Takes it to 11. (Or Should We Say 526?)

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:58pm

James Risen is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. He's also currently under subpoena, possibly facing jail time, because of his reporting.

Specifically, he's being investigated because of an article on a CIA ploy to hinder Iran's quest for…

How Many People Must Be Maimed or Killed Before We End the Militarization of Our Police Forces?

How Many People Must Be Maimed or Killed Before We End the Militarization of Our Police Forces?

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 4:59pm

Yesterday, a grand jury in Habersham County, Georgia, decided not to bring charges against the police officers who threw a flashbang grenade into the crib of Bounkham Phonesavanh, known affectionately as "Baby Bou Bou." The explosion left a hole in…

Oklahoma's Response to Botched Execution: Hide the Next One from the Public

Oklahoma's Response to Botched Execution: Hide the Next One from the Public

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:45am

It's a dark day for Oklahoma. That metaphor is particularly apt this week, as the Sooner State just redoubled its commitment to keeping capital punishment in the shadows by hiding its lethal injection process from public view and oversight.

Five…