Blog of Rights

Appeals Court Overturns Decision on TheDirty.com in a Win For Free Speech

Appeals Court Overturns Decision on TheDirty.com in a Win For Free Speech

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:38pm
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision today in Jones v. Dirty World Entertainment, a case in which the ACLU filed an amicus brief alongside other organizations urging the Sixth Circuit to reverse a lower court’s decision holding a website and its editor accountable for defamatory posts submitted by the website’s users. (Here is our prior blog post explaining the case, and the website itself, TheDirty.com.)
Brady Kissel

Book ‘em Danno

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:14pm

I hereby nominate, consider, and elect Idaho student Brady Kissel as the Constitutional Hero of the Week.   

Brady is a junior at Mountain View High School in Meridian, Idaho. Meridian, sadly, made recent headlines for celebrating…

Edward Snowden

The Tech Community Can Put Out the Fire the NSA Started

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 1:23pm

This piece originally ran at the Guardian.

“You are the firefighters,” National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden told a tech savvy audience here yesterday, during my conversation with him at the SXSW festival. “The…

Photo of police officer speaking to civilian

Should Officers Be Permitted to View Body Camera Footage Before Writing Their Reports?

By Peter Bibring, Director of Police Practices for the ACLU of Southern California & Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:14pm

Update below

A police officer wearing a body camera shoots a civilian. Afterwards, the officer has to write up a report about the incident. Should the officer be able to view the footage captured by his body camera (or other cameras) before…

Police Shouldn't Just Film Themselves Being Santa's Helpers

Police Shouldn't Just Film Themselves Being Santa's Helpers

By Micah McCoy, ACLU of New Mexico at 4:47pm

You may have seen the viral video making the rounds on social media: a millionaire "Secret Santa" donated $100,000 to the sheriff's department in Jackson County, Missouri, to hand out to the less fortunate in the community. The generous donor said…

Photo of ACLU v. Clapper argument in Second Circuit

Nude Celebs and the NSA

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:49pm

Writing in the New Republic, Yishai Schwartz notes the confluence of two privacy stories yesterday: the theft of celebrities’ private nude photos stored in Apple’s iCloud, and my colleague Alexander Abdo’s argument before the Second Circuit Court…

Photo of FCC meeting

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…

Anastasio Hernández Rojas

Justice for Anastasio

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:52pm

When faced with government brutality and, in its aftermath, a total lack of justice for victims we have two choices: we can despair, or we can fight back.

On May 28, 2010, a 42-year-old undocumented immigrant,…

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…

Invasion of the Data Snatchers: Big Data and the Internet of Things Means the Surveillance of Everything

Invasion of the Data Snatchers: Big Data and the Internet of Things Means the Surveillance of Everything

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project & Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 11:18am

This piece originally ran at TomDispatch.com.

Estimates vary, but by 2020 there could be over 30 billion devices connected to the Internet. Once dumb, they will have smartened up thanks to sensors and other technologies embedded in…