First Amendment

Anti-Backpage.com Bill Will Shut Down Free Speech

Anti-Backpage.com Bill Will Shut Down Free Speech

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:17pm
The House of Representatives is set to take up a bill this morning that would result in severe unintended consequences for free speech online. We are understandably concerned. The measure aims to target the deliberate commercial promotion of either coerced or underage prostitution ­– both of which are, rightly, serious federal crimes – but would unfortunately go much further.
This Revolution Should Not Be Televised

This Revolution Should Not Be Televised

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:10pm

(Updated below)

The Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland announced this week that it will be live-tweeting a prostitution sting. With breathless glee, the press release tells us that "PGPD's Vice Unit will conduct a prostitution…

Brady Kissel

Book ‘em Danno

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:14pm

I hereby nominate, consider, and elect Idaho student Brady Kissel as the Constitutional Hero of the Week.   

Brady is a junior at Mountain View High School in Meridian, Idaho. Meridian, sadly, made recent headlines for celebrating…

The Government is Silencing Twitter and Yahoo, and It Won't Tell Us Why

The Government is Silencing Twitter and Yahoo, and It Won't Tell Us Why

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:07am

The government is using shaky legal arguments to silence major Internet companies without giving them – or the public – the opportunity to respond. In three separate recent cases, the government has sent a grand jury subpoena to Yahoo or Twitter…

Photographers' Rights At Issue As Arizona Community Rises Up Against "Occupying Army" of Border Patrol Agents

Photographers' Rights At Issue As Arizona Community Rises Up Against "Occupying Army" of Border Patrol Agents

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:10pm

The ACLU of Arizona today sent a letter to the U.S. Border Patrol demanding that the agency immediately stop interfering with the First Amendment rights of the residents of Arivaca, Arizona, to protest and to photograph government activities that are…

Media Protection Rule Helpful, But Not a Panacea

Media Protection Rule Helpful, But Not a Panacea

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:50pm

The new rule released yesterday governing when the Department of Justice can investigate journalists seems like a dollop of progress with a sizeable helping of potential concern. The attorney general does, however, deserve credit for some progress…

Aerial view of the U.S. Patent Office building; Image source: Cliff/Flickr

Is the "Patent Happy" Patent Office Violating the First Amendment?

By Sandra S. Park, Staff Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 2:43pm

Last April, during the Supreme Court oral arguments in our case challenging patents on human genes, Justice Kagan remarked, "The PTO seems very patent happy." Her comment, and the unanimous decision invalidating gene patents, clearly expressed the…

Nothing to See Here! Censoring 'The Innocence of Muslims'

Nothing to See Here! Censoring 'The Innocence of Muslims'

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:32pm

It's likely you haven't escaped the roiling controversy generated by the film The Innocence of Muslims. This "film" has alternately been described as: a deliberate provocation of Muslims, a launching point for a conversation about free speech, a trigger…

Rebooting Net Neutrality

Rebooting Net Neutrality

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:33pm

The Federal Communications Commission has taken the first step in rebooting the net neutrality rules. Today's announcement by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler follows a major D.C. Circuit decision this year, which struck down the existing rules requiring that…

ACLU Defends Nonprofit Free Speech

ACLU Defends Nonprofit Free Speech

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:01pm

Political speech regulation remains an incredibly complex and contentious issue in our government, and there is plenty of legitimate concern about the recent influx of big, outside money in modern campaigns.

Those concerns, however, must be…

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