Blog of Rights

The NSA Has Taken Over the Internet Backbone. We're Suing to Get it Back.

The NSA Has Taken Over the Internet Backbone. We're Suing to Get it Back.

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 8:07am
Every time you email someone overseas, the NSA copies and searches your message. It makes no difference if you or the person you're communicating with has done anything wrong. If the NSA believes your message could contain information relating to the foreign affairs of the United States – because of whom you're talking to, or whom you're talking about – it may hold on to it for as long as three years and sometimes much longer.
Privacy Might Be Getting an International Champion

Privacy Might Be Getting an International Champion

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 4:25pm

The U.N. Human Rights Council could take a big step this month toward protecting privacy rights around the world. At its current session, the HRC plans to vote on whether to appoint an independent expert on the right to privacy, called a "special rapporteur."

The…

Ignore the Drumbeat of Doom, the NSA’s Call Records Program Didn’t Stop a Single Terrorist Attack

Ignore the Drumbeat of Doom, the NSA’s Call Records Program Didn’t Stop a Single Terrorist Attack

By Rachel Nusbaum, Media Strategist, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:00am

Do you hear that? It's starting.

The predictable drumbeat of dire warnings about what will happen if portions of the Patriot Act – the post-9/11 law being used to conduct controversial NSA dragnet surveillance – are allowed to expire on…

Blurred lights from cars on street at night

Company Asks Cops to Keep Use of License Plate Trackers Secret

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 5:28pm

The NYPD may soon become the latest police department to begin paying private license plate tracking corporation Vigilant Solutions for access to the company’s nationwide location database, according to a report in the New York Daily News and documents…

Burglar "cracking" computer-screen "safe"

Feds Refuse to Release Documents on “Zero-Day” Security Exploits

By Sonia Roubini, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project & Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 1:09pm

Federal agencies served with a Freedom of Information Act request are refusing to release documents related to their purchase, use and disclosure of zero-day exploits, keeping the American public in the dark about a practice that leaves the Internet…

Government Attempt to Speed Up Guantánamo Trials (Rightfully) Backfires

Government Attempt to Speed Up Guantánamo Trials (Rightfully) Backfires

By Alex Sinha, Aryeh Neier Fellow, Human Rights Watch & ACLU at 4:15pm

Government meddling has long been a problem at the Guantánamo Bay military commissions, with the hearings of the last few days offering another crystal-clear example. The government's latest incursion into the commissions' proceedings further tarnishes…

‘Perfect Surveillance,’ Says Edward Snowden, Could Have Snuffed Out the LGBT Movement. He’s Right.

‘Perfect Surveillance,’ Says Edward Snowden, Could Have Snuffed Out the LGBT Movement. He’s Right.

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:35pm

Edward Snowden recently pointed out how the victories of the LGBT movement in this country might never have happened if the government had the ability to conduct “perfect surveillance.” For decades, LGBT people had to fight official government…

This Secret Domestic Surveillance Program Is About to Get Pulled Out of the Shadows

This Secret Domestic Surveillance Program Is About to Get Pulled Out of the Shadows

By Julia Harumi Mass, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California & Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:32pm

The federal government will have to produce information on a vast and secret domestic surveillance program and defend the program's legality in open court. That's the result of a decision issued Friday by the federal judge presiding over our lawsuit…

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…

Photo of cell phone tower disguised as a palm tree.

ACLU-Obtained Documents Reveal Breadth of Secretive Stingray Use in Florida

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:30pm

The ACLU is releasing records today obtained from law enforcement agencies across Florida about their acquisition and use of sophisticated cell phone location tracking devices known as “Stingrays.” These records provide the most detailed account…