Blog of Rights

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 challenging the Suspicious Activity Reporting program, part of an ever-expanding domestic surveillance network established after 9/11.
Dear TSA, My Football Preferences and Vacation Plans are None of your Business: A First-Hand Experience With the TSA’s “Chat-Downs”

Dear TSA, My Football Preferences and Vacation Plans are None of your Business: A First-Hand Experience With the TSA’s “Chat-Downs”

By Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:51pm

I was scheduled to return from my summer vacation at 6 a.m. Sunday morning flying out of Vermont’s Burlington International Airport in a state most often thought to be ahead of the civil liberties curve. If you’ve ever had a crack-of-dawn…

The Patriot Act, 10 Years Later

The Patriot Act, 10 Years Later

By Ateqah Khaki at 3:34pm

Our new infographic illustrates some of the most troubling aspects of the Patriot Act.

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…

Invasion of the Data Snatchers: Big Data and the Internet of Things Means the Surveillance of Everything

Invasion of the Data Snatchers: Big Data and the Internet of Things Means the Surveillance of Everything

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project & Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 11:18am

This piece originally ran at TomDispatch.com.

Estimates vary, but by 2020 there could be over 30 billion devices connected to the Internet. Once dumb, they will have smartened up thanks to sensors and other technologies embedded in…

Profiling Muslims at the Airport

Profiling Muslims at the Airport

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:20pm

I finally had a chance to read this extended debate between the security-ologist Bruce Schneier and critic-of-religion Sam Harris (yes that Sam Harris) over whether we should profile Muslims in airport security.

First of all, Sam Harris performs…

A Guide to What We Now Know About the NSA's Dragnet Searches of Your Communications

A Guide to What We Now Know About the NSA's Dragnet Searches of Your Communications

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 10:39am

Charlie Savage of The New York Times confirmed this week what we have been warning about for years...

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…

stingray device

Internal Police Emails Show Efforts to Hide Use of Cell Phone Tracking

By Maria Kayanan, Associate Legal Director, ACLU of Florida at 9:01pm

As we suspected, local law enforcement officials are borrowing cell phone tracking devices known as “stingrays” from the U.S. Marshals Service—and police are deliberately concealing the use of stingrays in court documents submitted to judges…

Keeping the Government Out of Your Smartphone

Keeping the Government Out of Your Smartphone

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 11:48am

Smartphones can be a cop's best friend. They are packed with private information like emails, text messages, photos, and calling history. Unsurprisingly, law enforcement agencies now routinely seize and search phones. This occurs at traffic stops,…