Freedom of Expression

18th Century political cartoon

Parody Doesn't Play in Peoria

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:46pm
In March of this year, Peoria resident Jon Daniel set up a satire Twitter account using the name of the town’s elected mayor, Jim Ardis. Using slang and swearwords, Daniel then tweeted a series of jokes. No one in their right mind would have thought this naughty, unprofessional account was actually that of the elected Mayor. That’s why it was funny.
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…

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...

Photographing Police: What Happens When the Police Think Your Phone Holds Evidence of a Crime?

Photographing Police: What Happens When the Police Think Your Phone Holds Evidence of a Crime?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 9:27am

The Washington, DC chief of police on Friday issued a new “General Order” to members of the police department on “Video Recording, Photographing, and Audio Recording of Metropolitan Police Department Members by the Public.”…

FCC Should Resist Calls to Enhance Broadcast Censorship

FCC Should Resist Calls to Enhance Broadcast Censorship

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:51pm

In response to a call for comments regarding the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) enforcement of its broadcast indecency policies, the ACLU submitted comments last month arguing that the FCC's regulations have devolved into vague, overbroad,…

Worst Facts Make Worst Law with Violent Video Games

Worst Facts Make Worst Law with Violent Video Games

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:43pm

It’s perfectly understandable that after the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., everyone is casting about for an answer to a singular question: why?

As past is prologue, we shouldn’t be surprised that several members of Congress have settled…

Photo of FCC meeting

Investigating the Imaginary Thought Police

By Sarah Harrison, Washington Legislative Office at 10:14am

Earlier this year, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, abruptly abandoned a survey of Americans’ media information needs, which, despite its modest scope, would have provided crucial data for the FCC in its efforts…

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…

In Court Today: The Constitution Also Lives in Airports

In Court Today: The Constitution Also Lives in Airports

By Mitra Ebadolahi, Border Litigation Staff Attorney, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties at 10:24am

The ACLU is appearing today before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to argue on behalf of our client, Nick George. 

In August 2009, Nick went to the Philadelphia International Airport to catch a flight to California and begin his senior…

A "Foreign Policy Exception" to the First Amendment?

A "Foreign Policy Exception" to the First Amendment?

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:07pm

At a time when the anger abroad over the Innocence of Muslims video shows no signs of abating, President Obama gave an impassioned speech Tuesday at the United Nations that was a full-throated, unqualified defense of the American tradition of free…

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