Blog of Rights

Court Rules That Facebook ‘Likes’ Are Free Speech

Court Rules That Facebook ‘Likes’ Are Free Speech

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 5:53pm
A federal appeals court today issued an important decision that reaffirms everyone’s right to speak freely on the Internet. The three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found unanimously that, as we argued in our friend-of-the-court-brief last year, "liking" something on Facebook is undoubtedly constitutionally protected speech. (Facebook also filed its own friend-of-the-court brief supporting that position.) As the ACLU’s Ben Wizner said:
Senate Finally Frees the Press (Kind Of)

Senate Finally Frees the Press (Kind Of)

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:58pm

The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday took up a federal reporter shield law for the second time this year, after getting caught up back in July over the definition of a journalist. This time around, however, the committee passed it, marking the…

Police Abuse of Power, Plain and Simple, in Etowah County, Alabama

Police Abuse of Power, Plain and Simple, in Etowah County, Alabama

By Brandon Buskey, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project & Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 1:27pm

The Etowah County Sheriff's Office has a Fourth Amendment problem.

About once a month, a marked sheriff's car shows up, unannounced and after dark, outside a family's home in Alabama. Uniformed officers walk to the family's door, in plain sight…

Send the ACLU to SXSW 2014!

Send the ACLU to SXSW 2014!

By Anna Salem, ACLU of Northern California at 4:04pm

It's that time of year again. The annual SXSW PanelPicker is open for your votes! SXSW Interactive festival draws thousands of developers and entrepreneurs -- an audience that needs to hear how much you care about issues like online privacy and free…

Chelsea Manning, Islan Nettles and the Struggle for Trans Survival

Chelsea Manning, Islan Nettles and the Struggle for Trans Survival

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 10:58am

While Chelsea Manning's announcement of her gender identity confounded the press, the transgender community in New York was reeling over the loss of yet another young transgender woman of color to violence. It is impossible to separate the bias and…

Chelsea Manning and the Government's Draconian Approach to Whistleblowers

Chelsea Manning and the Government's Draconian Approach to Whistleblowers

By Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:02pm

Many Americans have been perplexed about how to view the prosecution of Chelsea Manning, who was sentenced this week under the name Bradley Manning.

On the one hand, they're not comfortable with the notion that any Army private should be able…

In Yet Another Act of Courage, Chelsea Manning Comes Out

In Yet Another Act of Courage, Chelsea Manning Comes Out

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 4:23pm

Yesterday, Private Manning was sentenced to serve 35 years in military prison. After sentencing, Manning issued a statement, in which she bravely called for a more just society and stated that if she is not pardoned, she "will serve [her] time knowing…

ACLU Response to Chelsea Manning's Disclosure of Gender Dysphoria

ACLU Response to Chelsea Manning's Disclosure of Gender Dysphoria

In response to Chelsea Manning's disclosure that she is female, has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and will be seeking hormone therapy as a part of her transition during her incarceration, public statements by military officials that the Army…

Unfrackingbelievable

Unfrackingbelievable

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:40pm

Earlier this month, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette managed to unseal an extraordinary court transcript. In it, a local court approved an unusual settlement agreement between the Hallowich family and several natural gas companies, including Texas-based…

The Business of Financing Hate Groups: Legal to Censor, but Unwise

The Business of Financing Hate Groups: Legal to Censor, but Unwise

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:23am

It's so tempting to go for the easy answer. Credit card companies are private businesses. They generally have the right...