Blog of Rights

The $338,000 Internet Comment

The $338,000 Internet Comment

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:00am
We’ve written before about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1998 — a federal law that protects the robust diversity of free speech we’ve come to know and love (and hate) on the Internet. Last night, the ACLU and the ACLU of Kentucky had a chance to put our money where our mouth is. We filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of the user-generated gossip website TheDirty.com (warning: not just a clever name) and its publisher Nik Richie, who were recently — and wrongly — held legally responsible for someone else’s internet trolling. Our brief, filed alongside a star-spangled list of organizations dedicated to free speech, argues that the decision could be a disastrous precedent for Internet speech.
The Three Dimensions of the Privacy Apocalypse

The Three Dimensions of the Privacy Apocalypse

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:34am

Recent reports have revealed that several companies are currently pushing “intelligent street lights” that are capable of being loaded with various kinds of sensors including, as Reuters reported late last month,

sensors for moisture,…

Anal Probe for a Traffic Stop?

Anal Probe for a Traffic Stop?

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 3:08pm

David Eckert was pulling out of a Wal-Mart parking lot when police officers pulled him over for failing to stop at a parking lot stop sign. Police ordered Eckert to step out of his vehicle, and that's when he committed the highly suspicious act of…

Sloppy FBI Work Leads to Spying on Journalists

Sloppy FBI Work Leads to Spying on Journalists

By Julia Harumi Mass, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 2:38pm

This was originally posted by the ACLU of Northern California.

Remember Antiwar.com, the online news magazine that discovered it had been targeted by the FBI? The ACLU of Northern California filed a freedom of the press lawsuit to obtain full…

Edward Snowden: This Saturday, Demand an End to the Surveillance State

Edward Snowden: This Saturday, Demand an End to the Surveillance State

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 2:40pm

If the government had its way, no one would have any idea that it regularly tracks all of our phone calls and much of our online activity.

But thanks to Edward Snowden's disclosures, we now know quite a bit more about how the NSA's surveillance…

Banned From America For Political Views? (UPDATED)

Banned From America For Political Views? (UPDATED)

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 10:09am

UPDATE (11/19/2013): Following a delay of more than year and a half, the State Department last week finally granted Kerim Yildiz, a U.K. citizen and advocate for Kurdish human rights, a visa to travel to the United States.  The blog post below,…

Freezing the Press

Freezing the Press

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:57pm

It’s been half a year since the Associated Press revealed a subpoena sweeping up phone metadata records for more than 20 of its lines, in offices where more than 100 reporters work, covering tens of thousands of newsgathering calls.

Members…

What Could Justify Using a Taser on an 8-Year-Old Girl?

What Could Justify Using a Taser on an 8-Year-Old Girl?

By Heather Smith, Communications Director, ACLU of South Dakota & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 12:34pm

Justified.

That’s how the Pierre Police Department described an incident several days ago where an officer fired his Taser at an 8-year-old girl after receiving a report that she had stabbed herself in the leg and appeared suicidal.

When…

The Global Suppression of Protest

The Global Suppression of Protest

This week the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations released a report about the crackdown on peaceful protests in democracies around the world – the tactics include excessive (sometimes deadly) police force and the criminalization…

Accountability vs. Privacy: The ACLU’s Recommendations on Police Body Cameras

Accountability vs. Privacy: The ACLU’s Recommendations on Police Body Cameras

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:00am

Today we’re releasing our policy recommendations on police “body cameras” (also called “on-officer recording systems” or “cop cams”), small cameras that clip on to an officer’s uniform and record audio and video of the officer’s interactions…