Blog of Rights

Dragnet Surveillance and the English Language

Dragnet Surveillance and the English Language

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 11:33am
The revelations over the past nine months that the United States is engaging in various mass-surveillance programs that collect and store huge amounts of information about both Americans and foreigners has rightly invited frequent references to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Big Brother's Always Been Watching Some of U.S.

Big Brother's Always Been Watching Some of U.S.

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:49am

As revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden continue to mount, Americans have been shocked by the NSA's incredible invasions of privacy - some more so than others.

There has been a noticeable difference between the reactions of minority…

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…

In Court Today: Challenging the Drone Killings of Three Americans

In Court Today: Challenging the Drone Killings of Three Americans

By Josh Bell, Media Strategist, ACLU at 10:02am

The New York Times published a powerful op-ed yesterday by Nasser Al-Aulaqi about the killing of his grandson Abdulrahman...

"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…

Sen. Dianne Feinstein's NSA 'reforms': bad for privacy, bad for business

Sen. Dianne Feinstein's NSA 'reforms': bad for privacy, bad for business

By Nicole Ozer, Technology & Civil Liberties Policy Director, ACLU of Northern California at 2:29pm

This op-ed originally ran in the San Jose Mercury News before the tech giants released their letter to Pres. Obama and Congress urging widespread surveillance reform. In August, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington,…

With No Evidence of Wrongdoing, NYPD Treats Entire Mosques as Terrorist Groups

With No Evidence of Wrongdoing, NYPD Treats Entire Mosques as Terrorist Groups

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 2:44pm

The Associated Press reported today that the NYPD designated entire mosques "terrorism enterprises" in order to justify the use of invasive methods to spy on congregants and imams. The report confirms what we have long been saying about the NYPD's…

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…

How Private is Your Online Search History?

How Private is Your Online Search History?

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:04pm

The ACLU has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Justice to find out whether federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors think they need a warrant to obtain people’s search queries from online search engine operators,…