Blog of Rights

Capability is Driving Policy, Not Just at the NSA But Also in Police Departments

Capability is Driving Policy, Not Just at the NSA But Also in Police Departments

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 11:25am
If you’re concerned about the dragnet nature of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, then you should also pay attention to what your local police department is doing. You may find that the dragnet surveillance happening there has a lot in common with the NSA’s mass collection of phone log data.
What Are the Memphis Police Hiding?

What Are the Memphis Police Hiding?

By Brandon Buskey, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 11:42am

It is every citizen's right to videotape police activity in public spaces so long as they do not interfere with law enforcement. When the police act unlawfully, one might even say capturing that behavior on film is every citizen's duty. Apparently…

Massachusetts High Court Set to Rule on Whether State Can Force You to Decrypt Your Drive

Massachusetts High Court Set to Rule on Whether State Can Force You to Decrypt Your Drive

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 11:25am

Can the government force you to decrypt your hard drive? Do the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 12 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights protect us from being compelled to disclose or enter our encryption keys, and…

Where's the Suspicion in Government's "Suspicious Activity" Reports?

Where's the Suspicion in Government's "Suspicious Activity" Reports?

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 11:00am

In 2008, the federal government launched programs to collect so-called "Suspicious Activity Reports" around the country. Government documents obtained by the ACLU show that these programs have operated without adequate privacy safeguards or guidance…

How to Stop the Government From Putting Another Lavabit Out of Business

How to Stop the Government From Putting Another Lavabit Out of Business

By Brian Hauss, Legal Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 11:35am

Late last night, the ACLU and ACLU of Virginia filed an amicus brief urging a federal appeals court to overturn a contempt-of-court finding against Lavabit, the now-defunct secure email service provider. The company had been resisting a court order…

125 Groups ask DOJ to Probe Un-American NYPD Surveillance

125 Groups ask DOJ to Probe Un-American NYPD Surveillance

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 1:28pm

New York's Muslims have a very good reason to be suspicious — and even fearful — of their city's police department. For over a decade, the NYPD's Intelligence Division has targeted Muslims for discriminatory surveillance based on nothing but their…

How Do I Get Out of This Relationship?

How Do I Get Out of This Relationship?

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:03am

We have written extensively about online data brokers and their penchant for mining public records and secretly following you around the web in order to create profiles based on personal information they glean. They then share that information with…

VICTORY! Federal Appeals Court Rules Warrant Required for GPS Tracking

VICTORY! Federal Appeals Court Rules Warrant Required for GPS Tracking

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:59pm

Today the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that law enforcement agents must obtain a warrant based on probable cause to attach a GPS device to a car and track its movements. The case, United States v. Katzin, is the first in which a federal appeals…

Creepy Government Surveillance Shouldn't Be Kept Secret

Creepy Government Surveillance Shouldn't Be Kept Secret

By Linda Lye, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 4:00pm

Shocking revelations about creepy government surveillance came in waves over the summer, from the Snowden leaks to the Hemisphere Project, through which the government has paid AT&T for access to a mind-bogglingly vast database of our telephone…

On the Prospect of Blackmail by the NSA

On the Prospect of Blackmail by the NSA

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:47am

Sometimes when I hear public officials speaking out in defense of NSA spying, I can’t help thinking, even if just for a moment, “what if the NSA has something on that person and that’s why he or she is saying this?”

Of course it’s…