Blog of Rights

DHS Releases Disappointing Civil Liberties Report on Border Searches of Laptops and Other Electronics

DHS Releases Disappointing Civil Liberties Report on Border Searches of Laptops and Other Electronics

By Brian Hauss, Legal Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 3:49pm
In response to an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request, the Department of Homeland Security has at long last released its December 2011 Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Impact Assessment of its policy of conducting suspicionless searches of electronic devices at the border. Because of the sensitive, personal nature of the records we all carry with us on our laptops and phones, both the First and Fourth Amendments prohibit the government from searching these devices at the border, absent reasonable suspicion that a search will turn up evidence of wrongdoing.
Still from the movie Matrix Revolutions

The Surveillance Machine Moves to Defend Itself

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:28am

In a pair of stories this past weekend, the Washington Post and the AP reported on the construction of an ambitious surveillance system by which the government aims to carry out detailed surveillance of its own employees.

Great, you say, our…

Image by Joe_A via Flickr

Federal Court Rules DOJ’s Location Tracking Memos Can Stay Secret

By Brian Hauss, Legal Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 2:00pm

Yesterday, a federal district court ruled that the Justice Department does not need to disclose two secret memos providing guidance to federal prosecutors and investigators regarding the use of GPS devices and other location tracking technologies.…

Edward Snowden

The Tech Community Can Put Out the Fire the NSA Started

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 1:23pm

This piece originally ran at the Guardian.

“You are the firefighters,” National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden told a tech savvy audience here yesterday, during my conversation with him at the SXSW festival. “The…

Finger pressing security button on keyboard

Protect our Privacy – Protect our Metadata

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 10:05am

Imagine bringing a date home for dinner. You put the laptop away and mute your phone. You prepare a gourmet home-cooked meal for two, queue up a selection of romantic songs and pick out a movie to watch after dinner. As the evening winds down, your…

Modification by Jay Stanley of photo by Nestor Lacle via Flickr

Chicago Police “Heat List” Renews Old Fears About Government Flagging and Tagging

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:40am

The Verge had a story last week (expanding on an August report from the Chicago Tribune that I’d missed) that the Chicago police have created a list of the “400 most dangerous people in Chicago.” The Trib reported on one fellow, who had no criminal…

Cars That Talk to Each Other: What Are The Privacy Implications?

Cars That Talk to Each Other: What Are The Privacy Implications?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:23am

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced on Monday that it is proceeding with an effort to reduce traffic accidents by creating a “Vehicle to Vehicle” wireless infrastructure (known as V2V) through which cars can communicate with each other…

The Internet You Know and Love is in Danger

The Internet You Know and Love is in Danger

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:16pm

Net neutrality – the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must treat all data on the Internet equally – is vital to free speech. But earlier this month, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the FCC's net neutrality rules, jeopardizing…

The FCC's DIY Net Neutrality Fix

The FCC's DIY Net Neutrality Fix

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:24pm

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a long-awaited decision in a challenge to the Federal Communications Commission’s “net neutrality” or “open internet” regulations. As expected, the court invalidated two of these rules.

One…

New AT&T Fees Threaten Openness of the Internet

New AT&T Fees Threaten Openness of the Internet

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:16am

Ars Technica reported yesterday that AT&T has confirmed it will allow web sites to pay money so that data downloaded from those sites will not be counted against customers’ monthly data caps. I don’t know whether this is a business model that…