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.
Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (5/11/2012)

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (5/11/2012)

By Anna Salem, ACLU of Northern California at 2:52pm
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.
Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (5/4/2012)

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (5/4/2012)

By Anna Salem, ACLU of Northern California at 2:25pm

Wireless Carriers Who Aid Police Are Asked for Data [New York Times – Eric Lichtblau] “Representative Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, the co-chairman of the Congressional Bipartisan Privacy Caucus, said in a letter sent Wednesday to…

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (3/30/2012)

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (3/30/2012)

By Anna Salem, ACLU of Northern California at 10:51am

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…

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…

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…

Who Decides?

Who Decides?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 9:32am

I’d like to make one major point about the NSA surveillance scandal that many people have made indirectly, or implicitly, or seem to have assumed, but have not stated baldly and explicitly. That point is how this incident has laid bare the arrogance of our national security officials.

Because there are really two separate issues behind last week’s revelations. The first is, how much surveillance of the American people should the government conduct? The second is, who should decide how much surveillance of the American people the government should conduct?

And on that second question, the government has arrogated to itself the power to make that decision, unilaterally, in secret, on behalf of the American people.

In his only comments on this scandal, President Obama said,

Newest Word to Take on Orwellian Overtones in Internet Age: “Trust”

Newest Word to Take on Orwellian Overtones in Internet Age: “Trust”

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:44pm

What could be warmer and fuzzier than “trust”? Between two human beings, it’s a hard-won bond that binds them together. In society, it is a currency that helps create a prosperous and efficient economy and culture, as thinkers such as Francis…

Business Model vs. Fourth Amendment

Business Model vs. Fourth Amendment

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:10pm

I wrote recently about the U.S. government and companies lobbying against the EU’s attempt to strengthen their privacy laws, and our own efforts at the ACLU to advance high transnational privacy standards. Our efforts helped attract a round of…

Enterprise Omniscience

Enterprise Omniscience

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:35pm

NBC’s Bob Sullivan published a very nice piece of reporting Wednesday on an Equifax company called The Work Number, which collects detailed information about the paychecks of 30 percent of the U.S. workforce and then uses it for various purposes,…

US Government Busy in Europe Defending Interests of Advertisers, Security Agencies, But Not Americans' Privacy

US Government Busy in Europe Defending Interests of Advertisers, Security Agencies, But Not Americans' Privacy

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

My colleague Ben Wizner and I are in Brussels this week, partly to meet with European lawmakers and others about the new privacy regime that the EU is in the process of putting into place. Unlike the United States, Europe has a set of basic rules and…

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