Blog of Rights

Blurred lights from cars on street at night

Company Asks Cops to Keep Use of License Plate Trackers Secret

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 5:28pm
The NYPD may soon become the latest police department to begin paying private license plate tracking corporation Vigilant Solutions for access to the company’s nationwide location database, according to a report in the New York Daily News and documents unearthed by Ars Technica's Cyrus Farivar. By contracting to access Vigilant's rapidly growing National Vehicle Location Service (NVLS), where police will find over two billion records of ordinary Americans’ movements, the NYPD may also sign on to some very questionable secrecy provisions found in the company’s terms of service agreement.
After a Decade's Fight for Net Neutrality, Huge Win for Free Speech Online

After a Decade's Fight for Net Neutrality, Huge Win for Free Speech Online

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:55pm

The people have spoken. And, today, the Federal Communications Commission listened. A majority of FCC commissioners voted in favor of historically strong open Internet rules.

It appears they have done what the ACLU and other free speech groups…

This Secret Domestic Surveillance Program Is About to Get Pulled Out of the Shadows

This Secret Domestic Surveillance Program Is About to Get Pulled Out of the Shadows

By Julia Harumi Mass, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California & Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:32pm

The federal government will have to produce information on a vast and secret domestic surveillance program and defend the program's legality in open court. That's the result of a decision issued Friday by the federal judge presiding over our lawsuit…

How Does the Federal Government Handle Prosecutions of Police Officers?

How Does the Federal Government Handle Prosecutions of Police Officers?

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 2:26pm

Should we take the Department of Justice's word on how federal prosecutions of police officers are being conducted and resolved, or do we need to see the data?

After a police officer is accused of a crime and the Department of Justice decides…

Photo of cell phone tower disguised as a palm tree.

ACLU-Obtained Documents Reveal Breadth of Secretive Stingray Use in Florida

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:30pm

The ACLU is releasing records today obtained from law enforcement agencies across Florida about their acquisition and use of sophisticated cell phone location tracking devices known as “Stingrays.” These records provide the most detailed account…

ACLU to UN: Encryption is Not A Problem to be Solved, But a Crucial Tool For Freedom and Security

ACLU to UN: Encryption is Not A Problem to be Solved, But a Crucial Tool For Freedom and Security

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:56am

A few weeks ago, a U.N. Special Rapporteur solicited comments for a report on the relationship between free expression and the use of encryption and anonymity online. The report that he is writing will be submitted to the Human Rights Council in June…

Photo of interior of car

Et Tu, Detroit?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:35pm

Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.) has again obtained and released information about the privacy practices of private companies in a sensitive area, this time in the form of a report on the practices of automobile manufacturers.

According to the…

Congress Lines Up 3 Bills to Protect Our Emails From Unwarranted Government Intrusion

Congress Lines Up 3 Bills to Protect Our Emails From Unwarranted Government Intrusion

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 10:11am

This blog was originally posted on privacysos.org​

Bipartisan legislation introduced this week in congress by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Ted Poe (R-Texas), and Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) would require police and federal law enforcement to…

The Lone-Wolf Terror Trap: Why the Cure Will Be Worse Than the Disease

The Lone-Wolf Terror Trap: Why the Cure Will Be Worse Than the Disease

By Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 11:24am

This piece originally appeared at TomDispatch.

The shadow of a new threat seems to be darkening the national security landscape: the lone-wolf terrorist.

"The lone wolf is the new nightmare," wrote Washington Post columnist Charles…

Painting of family riding in 1962 Chevrolet Corvair Monza

License Plate Scanners Also Taking Photos of Drivers and Passengers

By Sonia Roubini, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:01am

The Drug Enforcement Administration is using its license plate reader program not only to track drivers’ locations, but also to photograph these drivers and their passengers, according to newly disclosed records obtained by the ACLU via a Freedom…