Freedom of Expression

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…

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…

Relax, It’s Not the Thought Police

Relax, It’s Not the Thought Police

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:19pm

I get paid to defend unpopular speech. And, I’m the first to jump at the slightest hint of government censorship or coercion in the free market of ideas, as our recent comments critical of the IRS’s plans to regulate non-partisan political speech…

The $338,000 Internet Comment

The $338,000 Internet Comment

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:00am

(Updated below)

We’ve written before about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 — a federal law that protects the robust diversity of free speech we’ve come to know and love (and hate) on the Internet. Last night, the…

Banned Books Week 2013: Books about LGBT Families Remain Targets of Censorship

Banned Books Week 2013: Books about LGBT Families Remain Targets of Censorship

By Joshua Block, LGBT Project at 1:54pm

2013 has been a landmark year for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families. In June the Supreme Court struck down...

Court Rules That Facebook ‘Likes’ Are Free Speech

Court Rules That Facebook ‘Likes’ Are Free Speech

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 5:53pm

A federal appeals court today issued an important decision that reaffirms everyone’s right to speak freely on the Internet. The three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found unanimously that, as we argued in our friend-of-the-court-brief…

Send the ACLU to SXSW 2014!

Send the ACLU to SXSW 2014!

By Anna Salem, ACLU of Northern California at 4:04pm

It's that time of year again. The annual SXSW PanelPicker is open for your votes! SXSW Interactive festival draws thousands of developers and entrepreneurs -- an audience that needs to hear how much you care about issues like online privacy and free…

Unfrackingbelievable

Unfrackingbelievable

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:40pm

Earlier this month, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette managed to unseal an extraordinary court transcript. In it, a local court approved an unusual settlement agreement between the Hallowich family and several natural gas companies, including Texas-based…

The Business of Financing Hate Groups: Legal to Censor, but Unwise

The Business of Financing Hate Groups: Legal to Censor, but Unwise

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:23am

It's so tempting to go for the easy answer. Credit card companies are private businesses. They generally have the right...

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