Blog of Rights

Trickle Down Surveillance

Trickle Down Surveillance

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:22am
Cell site simulators, also known as "stingrays," are devices that trick cellphones into reporting their locations and identifying information. They do so by mimicking cellphone towers and sending out electronic cues that allow the police to enlist cellphones as tracking devices, thus revealing people's movements with great precision. The equipment also sends intrusive electronic signals through the walls of private homes and offices, learning information about the locations and identities of phones inside. Initially the domain of the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence agencies, the use of stingrays has trickled down to federal, state and local law enforcement. In one Florida case, a police officer explained in court that he "quite literally stood in front of every door and window" with his stingray to track the phones inside a large apartment complex.
The Government is Silencing Twitter and Yahoo, and It Won't Tell Us Why

The Government is Silencing Twitter and Yahoo, and It Won't Tell Us Why

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:07am

The government is using shaky legal arguments to silence major Internet companies without giving them – or the public – the opportunity to respond. In three separate recent cases, the government has sent a grand jury subpoena to Yahoo or Twitter…

Photographers' Rights At Issue As Arizona Community Rises Up Against "Occupying Army" of Border Patrol Agents

Photographers' Rights At Issue As Arizona Community Rises Up Against "Occupying Army" of Border Patrol Agents

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:10pm

The ACLU of Arizona today sent a letter to the U.S. Border Patrol demanding that the agency immediately stop interfering with the First Amendment rights of the residents of Arivaca, Arizona, to protest and to photograph government activities that are…

Uncle Sam's Databases of Suspicion

Uncle Sam's Databases of Suspicion

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project & Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 12:00pm

This piece originally ran at TomDispatch.com.

It began with an unexpected rapping on the front door.

When Wiley Gill opened up, no one was there. Suddenly, two police officers appeared, their guns drawn, yelling, "Chico Police Department."

"I…

Beware the Dangers of Congress’ Latest Cybersecurity Bill

Beware the Dangers of Congress’ Latest Cybersecurity Bill

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:52pm

A new cybersecurity bill poses serious threats to our privacy, gives the government extraordinary powers to silence potential whistleblowers, and exempts these dangerous new powers from transparency laws.

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing…

Blog author, John Ladd

Living Under Surveillance at the Border – for What?

By John Ladd at 2:38pm

As a fourth-generation Arizona rancher I have a strong attachment to the land my great grandfather homesteaded back in 1896. But ever since the US government built the border fence and sent thousands of Border Patrol agents to the Southwest, my property…

Old postcard of cars in parking lot

DEA Planned to Monitor Gun Show Attendees With License Plate Readers, New Emails Reveal

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project & Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 6:40pm

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives collaborated on plans to monitor gun show attendees using automatic license plate readers, according to a newly disclosed DEA email obtained by the ACLU…

Facebook Apologizes for Real Name Policy’s Impact, But No Real Changes Yet

Facebook Apologizes for Real Name Policy’s Impact, But No Real Changes Yet

By Matthew Cagle, Technology and Civil Liberties Policy Fellow, ACLU of Northern California at 9:30am

Wednesday the ACLU, along with a coalition of partner organizations, went to Facebook to urge it to fix a flawed policy that requires users to speak in a voice other than the one they prefer.

Facebook’s current “real name” policy requires…

iPhone by Karlis Dambrans

Apple Throws Down Privacy Gauntlet

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 5:37pm

Apple made big news today by announcing that they are no longer able to extract data from iOS devices for law enforcement agencies. The company had, for several years, offered a popular service for police in which it would extract data from seized…

Photo of blue pipes

We Want Internet Providers to Respond to Internet Demand, Not Shape It

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:38am

The debate over network neutrality is misguided, Robert McMillan argues in Wired, because amid dismay over the FCC’s proposal to allow ISPs to sell “fast lanes” to companies, people don’t understand that giant internet companies like Google,…