Civil Liberties in the Digital Age

In the digital age that we live in today, we are constantly exposing our personal information online. From using cell phones and GPS devices to online shopping and sending e-mail, the things we do and say online leave behind ever-growing trails of personal information. The ACLU believes that Americans shouldn’t have to choose between using new technology and keeping control of your private information. Each week, we feature some of the most interesting news related to technology and civil liberties that we’ve spotted from the previous week.
ACLU Lens: Get Off My Cloud! Senate Bill Requires Warrants for Government to Spy on Email, Digital Communications

ACLU Lens: Get Off My Cloud! Senate Bill Requires Warrants for Government to Spy on Email, Digital Communications

By Steve Gosset, ACLU at 5:00pm
The Senate Judiciary Committee today passed an amendment to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). Among its provisions, is a requirement that law enforcement agencies obtain a warrant before they can take a peek at your email, private social network posts and other information stored in the cloud.
Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (11/16/2012)

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (11/16/2012)

By Anna Salem, ACLU of Northern California at 2:47pm

Petraeus Case Raises Fears About Privacy in Digital Era [New York Times – Scott Shane] "The F.B.I. investigation that toppled the director of the C.I.A. and now threatens to tarnish the reputation of the top American commander in Afghanistan…

Data Breach Raises Questions About NASA Policy At Issue in Recent Supreme Court Case

Data Breach Raises Questions About NASA Policy At Issue in Recent Supreme Court Case

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:35pm

We hate to say “I told you so.”

In 2010, the Supreme Court heard a case called NASA v. Nelson, which involved the government’s right to carry out highly intrusive background checks. NASA decided to require its employees—many…

Petraeus and the Perils of Federal Cyber-Stalking Laws

Petraeus and the Perils of Federal Cyber-Stalking Laws

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:52am

The Petraeus Affair Affair is salacious stuff. It also, naturally, raises a lot of questions about privacy. But there’s also an interesting First Amendment angle underneath the sensation: why did the FBI investigate Paula Broadwell—the…

Surveillance and Security Lessons From the Petraeus Scandal

Surveillance and Security Lessons From the Petraeus Scandal

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 4:24pm

When the CIA director cannot hide his activities online, what hope is there for the rest of us? In the unfolding sex scandal that has led to the resignation of David Petraeus, the FBI’s electronic surveillance and tracking of Petraeus and his…

Data Brokers Release Information About Their Operations In Response to Congressional Inquiry

Data Brokers Release Information About Their Operations In Response to Congressional Inquiry

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:18pm

Yesterday Reps. Ed Markey (D, Mass.) and Joe Barton (R, Texas) released a batch of important details about the operation of the nation’s largest data broker companies. The information came in responses from nine data broker companies to a list of questions posed by a group of Members led by Markey and Barton seeking details of their operation in light of the privacy sensitivity of what they do. The responses released yesterday provide a good snapshot and reminder of what it is these companies are doing.

Will Increasing Surveillance Change Fiction?

Will Increasing Surveillance Change Fiction?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:36pm

The end of the Cold War created a problem for espionage thriller writers and moviemakers. They faced loss of a built-in backstory needing no explanation, a whole set of strong but realistic motivations for extreme behavior, a pre-fab cast of bad guys,…

Unsettling Questions About Voting Machines In Ohio

Unsettling Questions About Voting Machines In Ohio

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:46pm

As America heads to the polls to elect the next president, stories are circulating about, and a lawsuit has been filed over, a last-minute software patch apparently being installed on voting tabulation machines in Ohio, as described in a secret contract…

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (11/2/2012)

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (11/2/2012)

By Anna Salem, ACLU of Northern California at 12:41pm

More Than 25% Of Android Apps Know Too Much About You [Dark Reading – Kelly Jackson Higgins]

“Some 26 percent of Android apps in Google Play can access personal data, such as contacts and email, and 42 percent, GPS location data…

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (10/26/2012)

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (10/26/2012)

By Anna Salem, ACLU of Northern California at 3:04pm

In Court: Uncovering Stingrays, A Troubling New Location Tracking Device [ACLU of Northern CA – Linda Lye]

The ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation have filed an amicus brief in what will be the first case in the country to address…

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