Blog of Rights

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 you can read here.
Those Who Approved Torture Shouldn't Be Above the Law

Those Who Approved Torture Shouldn't Be Above the Law

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:23am

This piece originally appeared at

The Senate report released earlier this week makes clear that the CIA tortured more men, and far more brutally, than anyone outside the intelligence community previously understood. Given the report's…

FYI Abercrombie: Discrimination Is So Out of Style

FYI Abercrombie: Discrimination Is So Out of Style

By Aleksandr Sverdlik, Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 3:51pm

The Supreme Court will soon hear the case of Samantha Elauf, a Muslim teenager who was denied a job at an Abercrombie store solely because her religious headscarf, or hijab, didn't meet the company's "look policy." Abercrombie doesn't contest this…

The NSA's Other Privacy Loophole

The NSA's Other Privacy Loophole

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 4:26pm

Earlier today, a former State Department civil servant named John Tye published an important op-ed in the Washington Post, explaining that the NSA has created a giant loophole in Americans' right to privacy. While we now know a good deal about the…

Car in blurry lights

Federal Court Rules on One of the Major Outstanding Constitutional Privacy Questions of Our Time

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 9:13am

In a tremendous step forward for our right to privacy under the Fourth Amendment, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held in United States v. Quartavious Davis that police need a warrant to obtain historical cell phone location information from…

Crop of photo by Paul Weiskel used by permission

Law Enforcement’s Lobbying Priority In States Is Fighting Transparency

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 9:38am

The ACLU has been working in states across the country on a variety of laws pertaining to law enforcement agencies and their power to gather and access information about us—including location tracking, drones, automatic license plate readers, and…

Modification of image by jpstanley with map by jepoirrier via Flickr

Cell Tower Dumps: Another Surveillance Technique, Another Set of Unanswered Questions

By Katie Haas, Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 11:58am

Today, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI, the DEA, the Secret Service, and several other agencies asking for information about a surveillance technique known as a “cell tower dump.” If you’re wondering what that…

Grounded: Life on the No Fly List

What You Should Know About America’s Secret Watchlists

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 10:01am

The U.S. government is blacklisting people as terrorism suspects based on secret standards and secret evidence. People on government watchlists are questioned, harassed, detained, and even barred indefinitely from flying — and the government denies…

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…

Photo of police standing with batons

Police Need to Make Body-Camera Policies Transparent

By Sonia Roubini, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 3:00pm

Body cameras are a hot topic these days in the wake of the Ferguson and Eric Garner controversies, as well as President Obama’s announcement that he will seek $75 million in funding for police body cameras and training. Body cameras are an important…