Blog of Rights

DEA Discloses Bulk Surveillance of Americans’ International Phone Calls

DEA Discloses Bulk Surveillance of Americans’ International Phone Calls

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:37pm
Update (1/212014): The ACLU has filed a Freedom of Information Act request demanding that the DEA and other federal agencies release further information to the public about this database. The recent revelation of the DEA’s bulk phone records program is a crucial part of an ongoing debate regarding the government's collection of Americans' private information in massive government databases. Yet the public has little information about the program beyond the spare details contained in the recently filed declaration. This request seeks to fill those gaps in knowledge.
Photo of toll booth at night

Christie Use of Tollbooth Data and Why Location Privacy Must Be Protected

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:26am

David Sirota of the International Business Times reported last week that Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and his appointee, the deputy governor of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, had released a political opponent's private tollbooth…

Is There a Software Solution to the Surveillance Debate?

Is There a Software Solution to the Surveillance Debate?

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 11:04am

Last year, the president asked the intelligence community a question: Is it possible to create software that would enable targeted surveillance to act as a substitute for dragnet surveillance? In response, the National Academies released a report which…

Cybersecurity Doesn’t Have to Mean Sacrificing Privacy

Cybersecurity Doesn’t Have to Mean Sacrificing Privacy

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:20pm

Are our work emails, our medical records, and our financial information safe online? Or have we been leaving our digital doors unlocked?

Given the high-profile cybersecurity failures in recent weeks, from the Sony hacks to the brief takeover…

How US Prison Officials Rubber-Stamped a CIA Torture Chamber

How US Prison Officials Rubber-Stamped a CIA Torture Chamber

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:43pm

The CIA's chief interrogator called it "the closest thing he has seen to a dungeon."

At the agency's COBALT detention site in Afghanistan – also known as the "Salt Pit" – detainees were kept in total darkness, shackled to the floors or…

Getting Gitmo Down to Zero

Getting Gitmo Down to Zero

By Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:51pm

On January 11, 2002, the first prisoners were slammed into hastily assembled cages at the Guantánamo Navy base, and men then streamed in from across the globe. Typically brought into custody without even the most basic due process review, the newly…

Too Classified for Congress? When It Comes to Congressional Oversight of Intelligence Activities, Transparency Should Always Triumph Over Secrecy

Too Classified for Congress? When It Comes to Congressional Oversight of Intelligence Activities, Transparency Should Always Triumph Over Secrecy

By Nathaniel J. Turner, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:11pm

Tomorrow the House of Representatives will have a choice to make: openness and transparency, or secrecy and business as usual. From NSA surveillance to CIA torture, congressional oversight of intelligence activities over the last decade has been inadequate.…

The Horrific Stories of CIA-sponsored Torture That Aren’t in the Senate Report.

The Horrific Stories of CIA-sponsored Torture That Aren’t in the Senate Report.

By Steven M. Watt, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 1:46pm

This piece originally appeared at Slate.

As bad as the stories in the Senate torture report are, there is a whole class of victims who aren't even mentioned. The executive summary released last week makes only passing reference to an integral…

Growing Chorus Demands Criminal Investigation into Torture Program

Growing Chorus Demands Criminal Investigation into Torture Program

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 1:17pm

Calls for a criminal investigation into the Bush-era torture program described in the Senate report released earlier this month are beginning to mount.

The ACLU and Human Rights Watch (HRW) sent a letter today to the Justice Department, calling…

Photo of blueprint

Why Has the ACLU Hired an Internet Infrastructure Technologist?

By Daniel Kahn Gillmor, Technology Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 11:54am

Last March, I started working as a technologist for the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology project. Part of the job is helping the ACLU’s lawyers to better understand the technical details of their legal work. But I'm also taking the fight for…