Blog of Rights

Image of audio signature graphic

On the Creation of Giant Voiceprint Databases

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:50am
The Associated Press ran a story (along with two sidebars) this week on the use of voiceprints by big banks and other institutions. Those companies say they are using the technology to fight fraud, but in the process they are apparently compiling large databases of voiceprints without customers' knowledge or permission.
Biohazard sign

Treat Ebola as a Public Health Issue, Not a National Security Matter

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:09pm

Since the government announced the introduction of new Ebola screening measures at border checkpoints at five U.S. airports, we’ve been getting queries asking what our position is on such measures from a civil liberties standpoint.

This is…

A Great Day for Seven Americans Formerly on the No Fly List

A Great Day for Seven Americans Formerly on the No Fly List

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 11:19am

An extraordinarily secret government blacklist just got a little bit less secret.

Seven American citizens who were banned by the government from air travel received word yesterday evening that they are cleared to fly. For them, the notice ends…

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…

The Broken No-Fly List Process Needs Fixing

The Broken No-Fly List Process Needs Fixing

By Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:50pm

Update (10/3/14): The federal judge decided in court today that our clients will be notified by January whether they are on the No Fly List or not. Those who are still on the list will also be told why, so they can challenge their placement. 

The…

iPhone by Karlis Dambrans

Securing Our Data Should Come First

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 9:08am

This post was first published as part of the New York Times Room for Debate feature "Apple vs. the Law," which asked: How much should tech companies cooperate with the government on data access?

Apple's new encryption policy…

Drone Drawing by Cuauhtemoc-Hidalgo Villa-Zapata

Up to 20% of Border Patrol Drone Flights Are Inside the United States

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 7:46am

The GAO released a report Tuesday on Customs and Border Patrol’s use of Predator drones in which it revealed that up to 20 percent of the CBP’s drone flight hours were spent in airspace inside “border and coastal areas."

Drone technology…

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…

Do Cops Really Need Tanks to Keep Us Safe?

Do Cops Really Need Tanks to Keep Us Safe?

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 3:11pm

This piece was originally published on The Crime Report.

The militarized law enforcement response to peaceful protests over the killing of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Mo. last month, has prompted several federal officials to question…

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…