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.
When Privacy Gets Personal For Policymakers

When Privacy Gets Personal For Policymakers

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:21am
Data from license plate readers in Minnesota was obtained by a St. Paul car dealer using open-records laws, and used to repossess at least one car, according to a recent article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The article included this amusing tidbit:
Two More Days to Vote for ACLU SXSW Panels!

Two More Days to Vote for ACLU SXSW Panels!

By Ateqah Khaki at 1:22pm

The ACLU is hoping to be at South by SouthWest next March, and we need your help! We’ve submitted four panel pitches (one, two, three and four) for SXSW Interactive, and there are two days left for the public to vote for and comment on the…

What’s Wrong With the Pauls’ Internet Manifesto

What’s Wrong With the Pauls’ Internet Manifesto

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:36pm

Ron and Rand Paul’s manifesto on “The Technology Revolution,” released the other day, is unexpectedly incomplete, focusing most of its animus not on government security and police agencies, but on what they call “collectivists,”…

Build It And They Will Snoop

Build It And They Will Snoop

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:19pm

Late last month a Montreal homicide detective was found guilty of accessing a police database to pass citizens’ information to an organized crime ring to help it ship stolen vehicles overseas. We always keep an eye on these kinds of stories because…

Do Androids Dream of Electric Speech?

Do Androids Dream of Electric Speech?

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:23am

Professor Tim Wu at Columbia had an op-ed in the New York Times yesterday arguing against First Amendment protections for “automated” speech. Here’s the argument distilled:

As a matter of legal logic, there is some similarity…

Sniffing Out Privacy Issues That May Be In Our future

Sniffing Out Privacy Issues That May Be In Our future

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:55pm

MIT’s Technology Review has an article today on research that is underway to make extremely sensitive and rapid molecular sensors—aka “artificial noses”—that are so thin they could even be integrated into paper or textiles.

Cybersecurity Myths: Beware the Hype

By Zachary Katznelson, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project & Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:01am

Much current cybersecurity discourse is inspired by a vivid and compelling image: terrorists remotely taking over dams, nuclear power plants or other critical infrastructure in order to wreak havoc and kill large numbers of Americans. In one…

Megalawsuit Against BitTorrent Users Threatens Due Process

By Rachel Myers, ACLU at 4:56pm

Time Warner Cable recently asked a federal court to quash subpoenas it received seeking the identities of thousands of its customers. The subpoenas came as part of several lawsuits filed by members of the movie industry who allege the individuals…

Activists Leverage Stronger EU Privacy Laws to Seek More Information on PRISM

Activists Leverage Stronger EU Privacy Laws to Seek More Information on PRISM

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:03pm

A group of European activists yesterday filed complaints with European data protection authorities against Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Skype, and Yahoo alleging that the companies are violating EU privacy law by cooperating with the NSA's PRISM…

Ignorant Armies Eavesdropping By Night?

Ignorant Armies Eavesdropping By Night?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:11am

As revelations continue to pour forth about how the talents of thousands of brilliant math and computer experts are being utilized by the National Security Agency, we also saw last week the release of a report to Congress that attempts to defend the…

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