Blog of Rights

International Rights Body to Press U.S. on Surveillance, Snowden

International Rights Body to Press U.S. on Surveillance, Snowden

By Steven M. Watt, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 2:02pm
History has taught us that pervasive government surveillance has a profoundly adverse effect on the exercise of free speech – a universal right enshrined both in the Constitution and in international human rights law. This Monday, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will hold its first-ever hearing on the NSA's mass surveillance programs and their impact on the right to freedom of expression and other related rights in the Americas.
An Ally or a Spy Target, But Not Both

An Ally or a Spy Target, But Not Both

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:48am

The revelation that the National Security Agency is engaged in dragnet surveillance of American allies is just another indication...

Prosecution Is Not the Way to Save a 10-Year-Old Child

Prosecution Is Not the Way to Save a 10-Year-Old Child

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU & Sarah Solon, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 3:54pm

When children under 12 engage in exploitative sexual behavior, it is often a result of abuse or exposure to sex acts that they themselves have experienced. These children need mental health treatment and family interventions, not probation and blacklists.

Why…

International Right to Know Day: Pursuing Openness and Accountability

International Right to Know Day: Pursuing Openness and Accountability

By Katie Haas, Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 7:48pm

Today, we celebrate the 11th annual International Right to Know Day, recognizing the right of access to information and the importance of government transparency. Ninety-three countries around the world have transparency laws or regulations…

Why Have 1.5 Million Floridians Been Banned from Voting?

Why Have 1.5 Million Floridians Been Banned from Voting?

By Nancy Abudu, Director of Legal Operations, ACLU of Florida & Joyce Hamilton Henry, ACLU of Florida at 3:14pm

The struggle to protect the fundamental right to vote for people with a felony conviction is nothing new in this country, but has now reached a crisis level. Almost six million people are denied the right to vote because of felon disfranchisement laws…

U.N. to Review NSA Privacy Violations Among Other U.S. Rights Abuses

U.N. to Review NSA Privacy Violations Among Other U.S. Rights Abuses

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 11:31am

Human rights advocates from across the country are joining together today in a National Day of Action to raise awareness about the state of human rights in the United States at the local, state, and federal levels, and to spotlight areas where the…

50 Years after the Dream: Why Are We Filling our Jails with Kids of Color?

50 Years after the Dream: Why Are We Filling our Jails with Kids of Color?

By Mishi Faruqee, Juvenile Justice Policy Strategist, ACLU at 2:22pm

This week, fifty years after the March on Washington, President Obama stood on the National Mall and listed out some of the unfinished business of the civil rights movement. High up on the list: not letting our criminal justice system become "simply…

Court Rejects Military Contractor's Attempt to Avoid Trial for Human Trafficking

Court Rejects Military Contractor's Attempt to Avoid Trial for Human Trafficking

By Steven M. Watt, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 4:21pm

A federal court in Texas struck a blow last week to contractor KBR's attempt to thwart efforts...

Disability Is No Excuse to Deprive One of Civil Liberties

Disability Is No Excuse to Deprive One of Civil Liberties

By Susan Mizner, Disability Counsel, ACLU at 3:20pm

The guardianship system in this country raises serious concerns. That's why the guardianship trial of Jenny Hatch, a vibrant and active 29-year-old in a battle over who controls her life, struck such a chord. Jenny spoke for many other people with…

New Information About CIA Extraordinary Rendition Program Highlights Need For Transparency, Accountability

New Information About CIA Extraordinary Rendition Program Highlights Need For Transparency, Accountability

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 2:39pm

We may be finally learning more about the CIA's involvement in the 2003 abduction and rendition to torture of a Muslim cleric, Hassan Mustafa Nasr (aka Abu Omar). This week, Sabrina De Sousa confirmed that she was a former CIA undercover officer, and…