Blog of Rights

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 and even US foreign policy, Snowden’s critics repeat over and over again.The trouble is, whenever these critics are pressed to explain how Snowden's disclosures have harmed the public interest, they usually do one of two tricky things:
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…

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…

VICTORY! Military Ban on Consensual Intimacy Ends

VICTORY! Military Ban on Consensual Intimacy Ends

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:33am

In the late hours on Thursday evening, the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 84-15, passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), sending the measure to President Obama for his signature.  Included within the sprawling annual defense authorization…

The Three Dimensions of the Privacy Apocalypse

The Three Dimensions of the Privacy Apocalypse

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:34am

Recent reports have revealed that several companies are currently pushing “intelligent street lights” that are capable of being loaded with various kinds of sensors including, as Reuters reported late last month,

sensors for moisture,…

Sloppy FBI Work Leads to Spying on Journalists

Sloppy FBI Work Leads to Spying on Journalists

By Julia Harumi Mass, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 2:38pm

This was originally posted by the ACLU of Northern California.

Remember Antiwar.com, the online news magazine that discovered it had been targeted by the FBI? The ACLU of Northern California filed a freedom of the press lawsuit to obtain full…

Statement From Edward Snowden

Statement From Edward Snowden

In a very short period, the world has learned that some intelligence services operate unaccountable and occasionally criminal dragnet surveillance programs. While the NSA and GCHQ appear to be the worst offenders, we must remember that mass surveillance is a global problem and needs global solutions.

Massachusetts High Court to Become Latest to Rule on Warrant Requirement for Cell Phone Tracking

Massachusetts High Court to Become Latest to Rule on Warrant Requirement for Cell Phone Tracking

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 3:24pm

Should the police be required to get a warrant in order to monitor our location via our cell phones?

Massachusetts’ highest court is likely to answer this critical question when it rules on Commonwealth vs. Shabazz Augustine. The ACLU is…

Accountability vs. Privacy: The ACLU’s Recommendations on Police Body Cameras

Accountability vs. Privacy: The ACLU’s Recommendations on Police Body Cameras

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:00am

Today we’re releasing our policy recommendations on police “body cameras” (also called “on-officer recording systems” or “cop cams”), small cameras that clip on to an officer’s uniform and record audio and video of the officer’s interactions…

It's Official: NSA Wants to Suck up All Americans’ Phone Records

It's Official: NSA Wants to Suck up All Americans’ Phone Records

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:58pm

The NSA has officially stopped sugar coating the fact that it wants to spy on every American.

At yesterday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on FISA legislation, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) asked NSA director, Gen. Keith Alexander, whether…