Blog of Rights

The Flawed Logic of Secret Mass Surveillance

The Flawed Logic of Secret Mass Surveillance

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:50am

Privacy is a form of power. Humans are always highly aware who is observing them at any given time and place, and always tailor their behavior to that audience. And they generally work to make sure that their behavior does not reveal things that might…

The NSA's Winter of Discontent

The NSA's Winter of Discontent

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:01pm

Originally posted on The Huffington Post.

The summer of Snowden is fast becoming the NSA's winter of discontent.

This week, tech giants Google, Apple, Facebook and others published an open letter to President Obama and Congress urging…

Even Your Avatar Can't Escape NSA Surveillance

Even Your Avatar Can't Escape NSA Surveillance

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:41pm

It seems that literally no one is safe from the NSA. Even digital alter egos living in fantasy realms in the online gaming world are being caught up in the NSA's surveillance dragnet.

A newly leaked internal document reveals that the NSA and…

New Documents Show Lopsided Reliance on Secret Subpoenas

New Documents Show Lopsided Reliance on Secret Subpoenas

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 12:29pm

What happens when legislatures pass laws enabling law enforcement to obtain sensitive, private information about people without requiring any evidence of criminal activity, and without any outside oversight whatsoever?

Fishing expeditions.

Take…

Mass Location Tracking: It’s Not Just For the NSA

Mass Location Tracking: It’s Not Just For the NSA

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 12:12pm

Thanks to Edward Snowden we now understand that the NSA runs many dragnet surveillance programs, some of which target Americans. But a story yesterday from Washington, D.C. public radio station WAMU is a reminder that dragnet surveillance is not just…

"Mail Covers" Case Another Reminder That Oversight Is a Constant Battle

"Mail Covers" Case Another Reminder That Oversight Is a Constant Battle

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:35am

Last week I wrote about how a central problem with reliance on the FISA Court as a principal pillar of NSA oversight is that the court, in an environment of extreme secrecy and without an adversarial proceeding, has no reliable means of determining…

Disappeared, Threatened with Torture, and Still Seeking Accountability

Disappeared, Threatened with Torture, and Still Seeking Accountability

By Jonathan Hafetz, Associate Professor of Law, Seton Hall University School of Law at 9:58am

A federal district court in Washington will hear arguments this afternoon in the ACLU's lawsuit on behalf of American citizen Amir Meshal. In 2007, FBI agents orchestrated Mr. Meshal's secret detention for four months in East Africa. During that time,…

Tech Giants Join the Fight for Our Constitutional Rights

Tech Giants Join the Fight for Our Constitutional Rights

By Gaurav Laroia, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:31pm

For years now, the ACLU and a coalition of other civil rights and civil liberties organizations have been working to roll back the NSA’s unconstitutional warrantless surveillance regime. This past summer’s revelations made the extent of this surveillance…

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,…