Blog of Rights

After Torture Report, Lawsuit Tests U.S. Commitment to Accountability

After Torture Report, Lawsuit Tests U.S. Commitment to Accountability

By Jonathan Hafetz, Associate Professor of Law, Seton Hall University School of Law at 10:25am
A week after the release of the executive summary of Senate Intelligence Committee's torture report, the world's attention is rightly focused on the flagrant abuses committed by CIA officials in the name of national security. But it would be mistake to place the blame for America's descent into torture entirely on the CIA.
"A Train Wreck Waiting to Happen": Shocking Stories from the Senate's Torture Report

"A Train Wreck Waiting to Happen": Shocking Stories from the Senate's Torture Report

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 4:20pm

In the last 24 hours, pundits have spoken at length about the Senate Intelligence Committee's landmark torture report, the executive summary of which was released yesterday. For good reason. Despite all of the leaks, the previously released documents,…

The US's Story of Torture Doesn't Have to End With Impunity

The US's Story of Torture Doesn't Have to End With Impunity

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 5:16pm

After five long years of investigation, declassification, and redaction – not to mention outright obstruction by the CIA – the Senate Intelligence Committee today shone more light on CIA torture and made a historic and necessary contribution to…

The Torture Secrets Are Coming

The Torture Secrets Are Coming

By Marcellene Hearn, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 11:44am

Once you've seen the Abu Ghraib photos, they're not easily forgotten.

The hooded man, the electrodes, the naked bodies piled upon each other, and the grinning soldier with a thumbs up. The images are the stuff of nightmares. They're also incontrovertible…

A Great Day for Seven Americans Formerly on the No Fly List

A Great Day for Seven Americans Formerly on the No Fly List

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 11:19am

An extraordinarily secret government blacklist just got a little bit less secret.

Seven American citizens who were banned by the government from air travel received word yesterday evening that they are cleared to fly. For them, the notice ends…

NSA Headquarters

New Documents Shed Light on One of the NSA's Most Powerful Tools

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:00am

Today, we're releasing several key documents about Executive Order 12333 that we obtained from the government in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that the ACLU filed (along with the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic at Yale…

Numbers Tell the Story of Our Government's Watchlisting Binge

Numbers Tell the Story of Our Government's Watchlisting Binge

By Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:56pm

The government is adding people to its already bloated watchlisting system at breakneck pace, and it's still hungry for more. That's the unavoidable conclusion from documents published yesterday in The Intercept.

Those documents vindicate our…

Fact-checking Representative Pittenger on NSA Reform

Fact-checking Representative Pittenger on NSA Reform

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 11:13am

Last week, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), criticizing a bipartisan amendment on NSA reform to the House Defense Appropriations bill. The amendment, which Pittenger called "a Congressional mistake," passed…

Large billboard reading "notice"

How the NSA Got Away with Spying on American–Muslim Civil Rights Activists

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 2:20pm

An article published by The Intercept this week revealed that the government has conducted surveillance of several prominent American Muslims—including a former official in the Department of Homeland Security, a professor at Rutgers University, and…

Suing to Defend Americans' Right to Take Pictures in Public

Suing to Defend Americans' Right to Take Pictures in Public

By Julia Harumi Mass, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 12:34pm

What does an 86-year-old art photographer have in common with a young man with a video game habit?

Not just a proclivity for perfectly innocuous hobbies, unfortunately. These days, engaging in either activity can get the FBI on your case.

Today,…