Blog of Rights

Be Careful With Your Micro-Expressions at the Airport

Be Careful With Your Micro-Expressions at the Airport

By Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 7:25am
You're late for your flight, sweaty from having dragged your luggage to the check-in counter, and stressed about making it through security before boarding begins. For some of us, this is the rule, not the exception. For most of us, it's a pretty unremarkable scenario.
As Awareness of the School-to-Prison Pipeline Rises, Some Schools Rethink the Role of Police

As Awareness of the School-to-Prison Pipeline Rises, Some Schools Rethink the Role of Police

By Harold Jordan, ACLU of Pennsylvania at 1:02pm

As talk of law enforcement reform continues to swirl in the aftermath of the Department of Justice’s Ferguson report, some communities have quietly made progress in addressing how police interact with students.

Traditionally, police stepped…

Poverty Is Not a Crime, Whether You Live in DeKalb County or Ferguson or Anywhere Else

Poverty Is Not a Crime, Whether You Live in DeKalb County or Ferguson or Anywhere Else

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 4:42pm

Kevin Thompson, a black teenager in Georgia, was jailed for five days in December 2014 because he could not afford to pay court-ordered fines and company fees related to a traffic ticket.

In January, the ACLU, the ACLU of Georgia, and the Southern…

DHS Sends Troublingly Mixed Messages on Secure Communities Reform

DHS Sends Troublingly Mixed Messages on Secure Communities Reform

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:01am

UPDATE: ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña had this to say on Friday afternoon about her comments regarding Secure Communities: “Any effort at federal legislation now to mandate state and local law enforcement’s compliance with ICE detainers will,…

Photo of school lockers

Body Cameras on Police in Schools

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:04pm

We’re starting to get questions about the use of body cameras by “school resource officers,” a.k.a. police officers stationed in schools.

First of all, we don't think that police officers should be routinely present in schools at all.…

Florida Cannot Drug Test People Simply Because They’re Poor

Florida Cannot Drug Test People Simply Because They’re Poor

By Jason Williamson at 3:30pm

Remember that amazing Daily Show segment a couple years ago in which a correspondent asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to pee into a cup? Governor Scott was dead set on forcing some of the state's poorest, most vulnerable citizens to submit to humiliating…

For-Profit Companies Are Helping to Put People In Jail for Being Poor. I Should Know, I Was One of Them.

For-Profit Companies Are Helping to Put People In Jail for Being Poor. I Should Know, I Was One of Them.

By Kevin Thompson at 10:50am

In December, I was jailed for five days simply because I couldn't afford to pay $838 in traffic fines and fees to DeKalb County and a private probation company called Judicial Correction Services, Inc.

It sounds unbelievable, but that's exactly…

SPOT Off

SPOT Off

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:58pm

Lost in all the news about the NSA program this week was the release of a devastating report by the DHS Inspector General on the TSA’s SPOT program (first reported by the New York Times on Sunday). The new report underscores what a waste of money that program has been. After hiring 2,800 full-time staff and spending an estimated $878 million since FY 2007, the program remains deeply misguided not only in its very concept, but also in how it has been implemented.

SPOT (which stands for Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques) is the program that places “Behavior Detection Officers” (BDOs) near airport security lines, where by intrusively chatting with fliers, they will supposedly be able to detect “something amiss” that might suggest a passenger is planning a terrorist attack.

The program has always been ludicrous. In testimony at a 2011 congressional hearing on SPOT, psychologist Dr. Maria Hartwig summarized the decades of empirical research on the detection of deception, which is basically

Ferguson, Black & Blue

Ferguson, Black & Blue

By Jeffrey Mittman at 8:46pm

This post originally appeared on the ACLU of Missouri's blog. 

The United States Department of Justice will confirm tomorrow what residents in the St. Louis metro area have long known: If you’re black in Ferguson, you have a greater…