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I Like Ike

I Like Ike

By Aden Fine, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 8:09am
“I Like Ike” is one of the most well-known and catchiest political slogans of all time. According to a decision that was issued by a federal judge in Virginia a few days ago, however, the modern-day equivalent—saying that you "like" a political candidate by using Facebook's "like" feature—is not even worthy of the protections of the First Amendment. That decision is wrong, whether you like or dislike Facebook.  The court’s decision appears to be premised on its belief that pressing a button to say that you “like” something—in this case, a candidate running for election to be a city’s Sheriff— is not “substantive” enough to be protected by the First Amendment. In the court’s words: “[M]erely ‘liking’ a Facebook page is insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection . . . It is not the kind of substantive statement that has previously warranted constitutional protection. The Court will not attempt to infer the actual content of [the plaintiff’s] posts from one click of a button on [the candidate’s] Facebook page.”
Naked Statue Reveals One Thing: Facebook Censorship Needs Better Appeals Process

Naked Statue Reveals One Thing: Facebook Censorship Needs Better Appeals Process

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:07am

We at the ACLU were reassured of one thing this past weekend: Facebook’s chest-recognition detectors are fully operational...

School Principals: Students Have Privacy and Free Speech Rights Too!

School Principals: Students Have Privacy and Free Speech Rights Too!

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:05am

One of the technology-related civil liberties battles that ACLU affiliates around the country have been fighting in recent years involves defending students’ rights to privacy and free expression in the new electronic media that are becoming…

Invasion of the Data Snatchers: Big Data and the Internet of Things Means the Surveillance of Everything

Invasion of the Data Snatchers: Big Data and the Internet of Things Means the Surveillance of Everything

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project & Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 11:18am

This piece originally ran at TomDispatch.com.

Estimates vary, but by 2020 there could be over 30 billion devices connected to the Internet. Once dumb, they will have smartened up thanks to sensors and other technologies embedded in…

Your Facebook Password Should Be None of Your Boss’ Business

Your Facebook Password Should Be None of Your Boss’ Business

"It’s an invasion of privacy for private employers to insist on looking at people’s private Facebook pages as a condition of employment."

painting of crowd of workers leaving factory

New Technology Renews Old Fears of Manipulation and Control

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:18pm

In the first half of the 20th century, Americans gained a new awareness of the malleability and manipulability of the human mind, and the result was a wave of concern over “propaganda” and other techniques of influence. Today we may be seeing a…

Facebook Apologizes for Real Name Policy’s Impact, But No Real Changes Yet

Facebook Apologizes for Real Name Policy’s Impact, But No Real Changes Yet

By Matthew Cagle, Technology and Civil Liberties Policy Fellow, ACLU of Northern California at 9:30am

Wednesday the ACLU, along with a coalition of partner organizations, went to Facebook to urge it to fix a flawed policy that requires users to speak in a voice other than the one they prefer.

Facebook’s current “real name” policy requires…

Maryland Legislature to Employers: Hands Off Facebook Passwords

Maryland Legislature to Employers: Hands Off Facebook Passwords

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 4:13pm

Maryland just passed the nation's first-ever bill barring employers from asking for the social media passwords of job applicants and employees.

Political Speech on Facebook: Like this

Political Speech on Facebook: Like this

By Linda Lye, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 6:22pm

In a victory for free speech on the Internet, social network giant Facebook last week corrected a mistake that had the unfortunate consequence of blocking political speech and affirmed its commitment to serving as a neutral platform for political advocacy.

ACLU & Facebook Tell Appeals Court That “Like” Is Free Speech

ACLU & Facebook Tell Appeals Court That “Like” Is Free Speech

By Josh Bell, Media Strategist, ACLU at 4:21pm

The ACLU challenges a judge’s ruling that “liking” something on Facebook is not protected by the First Amendment.

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