Blog of Rights

Are CIA Cyber-Spooks Hacking Americans' Computers?

Are CIA Cyber-Spooks Hacking Americans' Computers?

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:26pm
At Wednesday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, titled "Global Security Threats," Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) hinted that CIA agents might be engaging in abusive cyber operations against Americans. And CIA Director John Brennan did little to dispel the notion.
"It Was Mostly the Middle Easterners Who Got the Special Screening"

"It Was Mostly the Middle Easterners Who Got the Special Screening"

By Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney, ACLU, National Security Project at 5:16pm

Transportation Security Administration employees subjected "Middle Easterners" to extra screening based solely on national origin, diverted "rude" passengers to retaliatory pat-down searches, and snickered at our "every fold and dimple on full awful…

How the Phone Dragnet Slipped Through Cracks in Oversight

How the Phone Dragnet Slipped Through Cracks in Oversight

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 4:34pm

Last week, the Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) issued a scathing report about the government's use of Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect the phone records of every American for the last seven years. While much attention…

Guantanamo Review Board: This is Not What Transparency Looks Like

Guantanamo Review Board: This is Not What Transparency Looks Like

By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:59pm

At 9:15 a.m. yesterday morning, the flat-screen monitor in Arlington, Virginia, came to life, revealing a small room inside what appeared to be a temporary structure.

Filling the screen were five men huddled around a small conference table:…

NSA Spy Target Challenges Warrantless Wiretapping Law

NSA Spy Target Challenges Warrantless Wiretapping Law

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:36pm

The ACLU today joined a new challenge to the constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA) — the surveillance law that gives the NSA virtually unfettered access to the international phone calls and emails of U.S. citizens and residents.…

6 To-Dos for Obama's Sixth Year as POTUS

6 To-Dos for Obama's Sixth Year as POTUS

By Shawn Jain, Media Strategist, ACLU at 12:54pm

Last night's State of the Union address covered many issues important to Americans, including economic inequality, winding down foreign wars, climate change, pay equity, closing Guantanamo, voting rights, and much more.

But from a civil liberties…

CIA Considers Releasing Its Torture Reports to ACLU

CIA Considers Releasing Its Torture Reports to ACLU

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 10:39am

There's good news in the ACLU's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking greater transparency about the CIA's now-discontinued torture program: The CIA has agreed to review and consider for public release two of the three key reports we seek. The…

The NSA's Shadow Database

The NSA's Shadow Database

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:58pm

Last week saw the release of yet another independent report condemning the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone records. In its report, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) called for an end to the program, concluding that it…

Federal Courts Deal Setbacks to No-Fly List

Federal Courts Deal Setbacks to No-Fly List

By Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney, ACLU, National Security Project at 3:58pm

Federal courts are scrutinizing the government's use of its secret No Fly List, and they don't like what they see. In two recent decisions, judges have either rejected or expressed skepticism about the government's arguments for secrecy and against…

Three Things to Know About the Government Privacy Report on NSA Spying

Three Things to Know About the Government Privacy Report on NSA Spying

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 1:43pm

This piece was originally published on Slate.

On Thursday, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board released its long-awaited report on the NSA's phone-records program. That's the program in which the NSA collects—and…