Blog of Rights

Senator Ervin, “No-Knock” Warrants, and the Fight to Stop Cops from Smashing into Homes the Way Burglars Do

Senator Ervin, “No-Knock” Warrants, and the Fight to Stop Cops from Smashing into Homes the Way Burglars Do

By Radley Balko, Senior Writer, Investigative Reporter, Huffington Post at 3:21pm

One of the heroes of my book is the late Sen. Sam Ervin, the Democrat from North Carolina...

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…

ACLU Defends Nonprofit Free Speech

ACLU Defends Nonprofit Free Speech

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:01pm

Political speech regulation remains an incredibly complex and contentious issue in our government, and there is plenty of legitimate concern about the recent influx of big, outside money in modern campaigns.

Those concerns, however, must be…

The Internet You Know and Love is in Danger

The Internet You Know and Love is in Danger

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:16pm

Net neutrality – the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must treat all data on the Internet equally – is vital to free speech. But earlier this month, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the FCC's net neutrality rules, jeopardizing…

The FCC's DIY Net Neutrality Fix

The FCC's DIY Net Neutrality Fix

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:24pm

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a long-awaited decision in a challenge to the Federal Communications Commission’s “net neutrality” or “open internet” regulations. As expected, the court invalidated two of these rules.

One…

Banned Books Week: The Struggle Against Censorship Continues

Banned Books Week: The Struggle Against Censorship Continues

By Brian Hauss, Legal Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 11:32am

This week marks the 31st annual "Banned Books Week," the American Library Association's celebration of the freedom to read...

UK Ideological Travel Ban Helps Hate

UK Ideological Travel Ban Helps Hate

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:42pm

So, this sounds like as good a time as ever to make a counterintuitive argument.

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer—two notable critics of "creeping sharia" and the "Islamization" of America—were invited to speak at an English Defense League…

The Privacy-Invading Potential of Eye Tracking Technology

The Privacy-Invading Potential of Eye Tracking Technology

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 9:42am

Eye tracking technology received new attention recently due to its inclusion in the Samsung Galaxy IV phone, where it can (with mixed results, according to reviewers) let users scroll the screen with their eyes or dim the screen when they look away.…

Chertoff on Google Glass

Chertoff on Google Glass

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:56pm

We’ve been doing a fair amount of thinking about the implications of consumer wearable cameras like Google Glass, and I’m sure we’ll have more to say in this space on the subject. But meanwhile, we’re pleasantly surprised to report a very trenchant analysis of the technology’s implications for our privacy by none other than Michael Chertoff. Writing on CNN’s web page, the former DHS chief writes,

So, who owns and what happens to the user's [video] data? Can the entire database be mined and analyzed for commercial purposes? What rules will apply when law enforcement seeks access to the data for a criminal or national security investigation? For how long will the data be retained? ….

Even those who might be willing to forgo some degree of privacy to enhance national security should be concerned about a corporate America that will have an unrestricted continuous video record of millions.

What is to prevent a corporation from targeting a particular individual, using face recognition technology to assemble all uploaded videos in which he appears, and effectively constructing a surveillance record that can be used to analyze his life?

Chertoff says he’s inclined to think that government regulation may be needed. I haven’t seen Chertoff say anything about the threat of pervasive government surveillance, which would make him a kind of anti-libertarian on privacy—in favor of restricting corporations, but not the government. For the average, relatively powerless person trying to live their life, the threat comes from both directions.

NEW LAWSUIT: Police Should Stop Arresting Innocent People Just for Being on a Business’s Property

NEW LAWSUIT: Police Should Stop Arresting Innocent People Just for Being on a Business’s Property

By Jason Williamson & Miriam Aukerman, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Michigan at 1:46pm

The next time you're in Grand Rapids, Michigan and need to pull into a gas station to make a phone...