Blog of Rights

NSA Headquarters

New Documents Shed Light on One of the NSA's Most Powerful Tools

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:00am
Today, we're releasing several key documents about Executive Order 12333 that we obtained from the government in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that the ACLU filed (along with the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic at Yale Law School) just before the first revelations of Edward Snowden. The documents are from the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and others agencies. They confirm that the order, although not the focus of the public debate, actually governs most of the NSA's spying.
Welcoming "the Scrutiny of the World" on Human Rights

Welcoming "the Scrutiny of the World" on Human Rights

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 12:32pm

Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week, President Obama took a moment to reflect on America's domestic human rights record and the situation in Ferguson.

I realize that America's critics will be quick to point…

Countering Violent Extremism: Time for the Administration to Get It Right

Countering Violent Extremism: Time for the Administration to Get It Right

By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:07pm

Today President Obama took the unusual step of chairing a meeting of the U.N. Security Council. He went seeking international support for the campaign against the group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), including a U.S.-sponsored…

Fearmongering NSA Reform

Fearmongering NSA Reform

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 1:07pm

On June 5, 2013, Edward Snowden shocked the world, providing proof that Americans were being spied on by their own government. Some praised him as a hero, others condemned him as a traitor, but there was general consensus that the NSA had severely…

Blurry Street by Thomas Hawk

Documents in ACLU Case Reveal More Detail on FBI Attempt to Cover Up Stingray Technology

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:46am

What is used by dozens of local law enforcement agencies around the country, featured in numerous news stories, and discussed in court, yet treated by the FBI like it is top secret? That would be "Stingray" cell phone surveillance gear, of course.

This…

Sharing this picture in Arizona could get you thrown in jail [photos of baby]

Arizona’s Naked Photo Law Makes Free Speech a Felony

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:24pm

Which of the following could land you a felony conviction in Arizona?

Showing images of naked prisoners tortured at Abu Ghraib; Linking to the iconic Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of “Napalm Girl,” showing an unclothed Vietnamese…
Four people enjoying vintage airline lounge

Government Placing Itself at Top of New Air Travel Caste System

By Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 3:42pm

A new report from the Government Accountability Office shows that the government is going easy on itself when it comes to aviation security screening, and in the process it is stretching the concept of watchlisting to the breaking point. Not only has…

Limitless War

Limitless War

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:49am

This originally appeared in a Politico feature collecting responses to President Obama's recently announced military plan against ISIS.

It's strange to think of it now, but when Congress authorized President George W. Bush to use military force…

Documents Suggest Maker of Controversial Surveillance Tool Misled the FCC

Documents Suggest Maker of Controversial Surveillance Tool Misled the FCC

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project & Nicole Ozer, Technology & Civil Liberties Policy Director, ACLU of Northern California at 10:10am

New documents obtained by the ACLU of Northern California appear to show the Florida-based Harris Corporation misleading the Federal Communications Commission while seeking authorization to sell its line of Stingray cell phone surveillance gear to…

Fear of ISIS Triggers Double Threat to Checks and Balances

Fear of ISIS Triggers Double Threat to Checks and Balances

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project & Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:05pm

Whatever you may think of the harms carried out by the group referred to as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the fear of ISIS is now creating a double threat to our system of checks and balances. We now have a Congress so anxious to avoid…