Blog of Rights

No, Senator, You Can’t Have the Torture Report Back (UPDATED)

No, Senator, You Can’t Have the Torture Report Back (UPDATED)

By Ashley Gorski, Nadine Strossen Fellow, National Security Project, ACLU at 5:44pm
Update (2/10/15): It looks like Senator Burr won’t get the torture report back, after all! In response to our emergency motion, filed late last month, the government has committed to “preserving the status quo” – in other words, it will hold on to its copies of the 6,900-page report detailing the CIA’s torture program, despite Senator Burr’s attempt to bury it beyond the court’s reach. Our efforts to get the full report into the hands of the public are continuing. 
Old postcard of cars in parking lot

DEA Planned to Monitor Gun Show Attendees With License Plate Readers, New Emails Reveal

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project & Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 6:40pm

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives collaborated on plans to monitor gun show attendees using automatic license plate readers, according to a newly disclosed DEA email obtained by the ACLU…

I Was Arrested for Learning a Foreign Language. Today, I Have Some Closure.

I Was Arrested for Learning a Foreign Language. Today, I Have Some Closure.

By Nick George at 11:14am

Five years ago, the Philadelphia police thought that carrying Arabic-language flashcards was enough to warrant the arrest of an innocent traveler. A settlement reached today in a lawsuit I brought against the police department makes it clear that it…

Charlie Hebdo, The Interview, and Censoring Torture Photos

Charlie Hebdo, The Interview, and Censoring Torture Photos

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 11:55am

This post was first published by Just Security.

Update (1/21/15): The federal court hearing on the release of the torture photos, originally scheduled for yesterday, has been rescheduled for February 3.

In France and the United States,…

This Bill Is Mandating Perfect Border Security, Using Your Tax Dollars, Without a Plan.

This Bill Is Mandating Perfect Border Security, Using Your Tax Dollars, Without a Plan.

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:55am

Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, last year proposed a logical approach to border security: In rejecting measures to put the "cart" of border spending before the "horse" of measuring what resources are needed, he introduced…

Guantánamo Diary: An Epic for Our Times

Guantánamo Diary: An Epic for Our Times

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 1:33pm

Literary history was made today with the publication of the first-ever book by a still-imprisoned Guantánamo detainee. Mohamedou Ould Slahi's "Guantánamo Diary" was finally published with some redactions after years of litigation to declassify it.

Slahi–…

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…

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…