Blog of Rights

DOJ Proposal on Law Enforcement Hacking Would Undermine Longstanding Check on Government Power

DOJ Proposal on Law Enforcement Hacking Would Undermine Longstanding Check on Government Power

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:18pm
At the urging of the Department of Justice, the U.S. Courts’ Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure is considering whether to bless procedures that would allow law enforcement to hack into computers, including by the use of controversial “zero-day exploits.” As Bloomberg News reported this morning, the proposed rule change raises privacy concerns. It has the potential to threaten internet security and to facilitate violations of the Fourth Amendment.
NSA Reform Takes Its First Steps

NSA Reform Takes Its First Steps

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:52pm

Congress finally had enough.

Almost one year after the first disclosure about the NSA's abusive surveillance programs, the House Judiciary Committee made history on Wednesday when it voted unanimously to pass the USA FREEDOM Act. Much to our…

#DearMrPresident: Stop Profiling Us

The Perversity of Profiling

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 2:19pm

The Justice Department is considering revised racial profiling guidance that, if issued, could set back race relations and basic fairness in this country. We hope that it does not make that mistake.

The New York Times on Thursday reported that…

"Vitruvian Man" by Leonardo da Vinci (modified by Jay Stanley)

A Tour of the TSA’s Testing Facility

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:04am

Last week I was given a tour of the “TSA Systems Integration Facility” (TSIF), the agency’s testing facility located at Reagan National Airport here in Washington, in some outlying buildings that used to house the airport’s post office facility.…

J. Edgar Hoover, 1961, photo by Marion S. Trikosko from LOC/wikipedia

How State Secrecy Protects Government Agencies From Embarrassment, Then And Now

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 10:12am

Often when the government wants to keep something secret, it claims that transparency would endanger national security. We’ve been hearing a lot of this lately with regards to Edward Snowden. The leaks have caused “grave harm” to national security…

Edward Snowden

The Tech Community Can Put Out the Fire the NSA Started

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 1:23pm

This piece originally ran at the Guardian.

“You are the firefighters,” National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden told a tech savvy audience here yesterday, during my conversation with him at the SXSW festival. “The…

The Obama Administration's 2 Faces on Releasing Evidence of U.S. Prisoner Abuse

The Obama Administration's 2 Faces on Releasing Evidence of U.S. Prisoner Abuse

By Josh Bell, Media Strategist, ACLU at 10:00am

There is too often a gap between the Obama administration's words and deeds when it comes to transparency on national security issues. Take, for example, whether the government should release information about the abuse of prisoners in U.S. custody.

In…

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–…

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…

The U.N. Acts to Protect the Human Right to Privacy

The U.N. Acts to Protect the Human Right to Privacy

By Steven M. Watt, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 1:18pm

The U.S. Senate failed last week to act to protect the privacy rights of Americans when the USA Freedom Act was rejected, but today, the United Nations took another step towards recognizing privacy rights for everyone.

This afternoon, a committee…