Blog of Rights

In Court Today: Defending Medical Records from Warrantless Search

In Court Today: Defending Medical Records from Warrantless Search

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:28pm
I will be in federal district court in Oregon today for oral argument in the ACLU’s challenge to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s practice of obtaining Oregon patients’ confidential prescription records without a warrant. We represent patients and a doctor whose prescriptions are tracked in the Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), a state database intended as a public health tool to help doctors and pharmacists avoid and treat drug overdoses and abuse by their patients. Although Oregon law requires police to get a probable cause warrant from a judge before requesting PDMP records in an investigation, the DEA refuses, and instead uses administrative subpoenas to request the records. Unlike a warrant, those subpoenas involve neither prior approval of a judge nor a showing of probable cause.
The FCC's DIY Net Neutrality Fix

The FCC's DIY Net Neutrality Fix

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:24pm

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a long-awaited decision in a challenge to the Federal Communications Commission’s “net neutrality” or “open internet” regulations. As expected, the court invalidated two of these rules.

One…

Growing Chorus Agrees Mass Surveillance Just Doesn't Work

Growing Chorus Agrees Mass Surveillance Just Doesn't Work

By Gaurav Laroia, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:08pm

Since official Washington's return to work from the winter holidays, there has been a steady clip of developments on NSA reform. The New America Foundation (NAF) published a strong critique yesterday of the effectiveness of the NSA's surveillance program.…

Counting the Days at Guantánamo

Counting the Days at Guantánamo

By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:15am

The U.S. government took its first prisoners to Guantánamo Bay 12 years ago today.

In the 4,380 days since, we have seen indefinite detention without formal charge or trial, the use of torture and other abusive treatment, and unlawful and…

Concern High About Both NSA and Corporate Surveillance Among Americans Polled

Concern High About Both NSA and Corporate Surveillance Among Americans Polled

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:13pm

While I was semi-disconnected from the grid over the holidays, one of the things I missed was an article in the Washington Post detailing the results of a poll on Americans’ privacy attitudes. The article, which contains lots of “man on the street”…

Graphs by MIT Students Show the Enormously Intrusive Nature of Metadata

Graphs by MIT Students Show the Enormously Intrusive Nature of Metadata

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 11:47am

You've probably heard politicians or pundits say that “metadata doesn't matter.” They argue that police and intelligence agencies shouldn't need probable cause warrants to collect information about our communications. Metadata isn’t all that…

Here’s Who Thinks Snowden Should Be Allowed Home – What About You?

Here’s Who Thinks Snowden Should Be Allowed Home – What About You?

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 1:54pm

It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower,…

ACLU Appeals Decision Upholding NSA's Mass Surveillance

ACLU Appeals Decision Upholding NSA's Mass Surveillance

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 4:07pm

The ACLU filed an appeal on Thursday in New York challenging the dismissal of our lawsuit against the NSA's mass call-tracking program. Through the program, the government collects records on every call made and received in this country, allowing it…

The Most Important Surveillance Order We Know Almost Nothing About

The Most Important Surveillance Order We Know Almost Nothing About

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:53pm

Over the last seven months, we have learned an incredible amount about the government's post-9/11 surveillance efforts. But there is a crucial gap...

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…