Blog of Rights

'You’re Not Wrong, You're Just an A**hole'

'You’re Not Wrong, You're Just an A**hole'

By Esha Bhandari, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 12:30pm
The Washington Redskins is a name that is offensive and perpetuates racism against Native Americans. Should it be changed? Yes. But should the government get to make that call? As we told a federal district court yesterday, the answer is no, because the First Amendment protects against government interference in private speech.
Ferguson, Black & Blue

Ferguson, Black & Blue

By Jeffrey Mittman at 8:46pm

This post originally appeared on the ACLU of Missouri's blog. 

The United States Department of Justice will confirm tomorrow what residents in the St. Louis metro area have long known: If you’re black in Ferguson, you have a greater…

After a Decade's Fight for Net Neutrality, Huge Win for Free Speech Online

After a Decade's Fight for Net Neutrality, Huge Win for Free Speech Online

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:55pm

The people have spoken. And, today, the Federal Communications Commission listened. A majority of FCC commissioners voted in favor of historically strong open Internet rules.

It appears they have done what the ACLU and other free speech groups…

How Does the Federal Government Handle Prosecutions of Police Officers?

How Does the Federal Government Handle Prosecutions of Police Officers?

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 2:26pm

Should we take the Department of Justice's word on how federal prosecutions of police officers are being conducted and resolved, or do we need to see the data?

After a police officer is accused of a crime and the Department of Justice decides…

Chelsea Manning Fights for Her Right to Exist. She Shouldn't Have To

Chelsea Manning Fights for Her Right to Exist. She Shouldn't Have To

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 12:51pm

We shouldn't have to keep defending our right to exist.

From inside the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where she is serving a 35-year prison sentence, that is precisely what convicted Wikileaker Chelsea…

Myriad Genetics Relents on Gene Patents, But Will the Patent Office Stop Issuing Patents on Products of Nature?

Myriad Genetics Relents on Gene Patents, But Will the Patent Office Stop Issuing Patents on Products of Nature?

By Sandra S. Park, Staff Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 1:59pm

It looks like the courts have finally put an end to Myriad Genetics' attempts to monopolize our genes.

Following decisions striking down its gene patents from the U.S. Supreme Court, a Utah federal district court, and a federal court of appeals,…

ACLU to UN: Encryption is Not A Problem to be Solved, But a Crucial Tool For Freedom and Security

ACLU to UN: Encryption is Not A Problem to be Solved, But a Crucial Tool For Freedom and Security

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:56am

A few weeks ago, a U.N. Special Rapporteur solicited comments for a report on the relationship between free expression and the use of encryption and anonymity online. The report that he is writing will be submitted to the Human Rights Council in June…

The Lone-Wolf Terror Trap: Why the Cure Will Be Worse Than the Disease

The Lone-Wolf Terror Trap: Why the Cure Will Be Worse Than the Disease

By Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 11:24am

This piece originally appeared at TomDispatch.

The shadow of a new threat seems to be darkening the national security landscape: the lone-wolf terrorist.

"The lone wolf is the new nightmare," wrote Washington Post columnist Charles…

This Man Faces Life in Prison for...Rapping

This Man Faces Life in Prison for...Rapping

By David Loy, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties at 12:58pm

I've heard free speech isn't free, and Brandon Duncan, who raps as Tiny Doo, has learned that the hard way.

Until recently, Mr. Duncan spent eight months in jail on "gang conspiracy" charges arising from several shootings in San Diego from…

Photo of a police traffic stop

Police Officer Discretion in the Use of Body Worn Cameras

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:30pm

In our October 2013 policy white paper on police body cameras, we struggled with how to ensure that the cameras would serve as an effective oversight mechanism for police while not unduly invading privacy. We pointed out that purely from an oversight…