Freedom of Expression

New York Court Denies Twitter Motion to Quash Occupy Protester Subpoena

By Aden Fine, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 2:07pm
A New York criminal court judge has issued a decision denying Twitter’s motion to quash a court order requiring it to produce information about one of its users pursuant to a subpoena that the District Attorney’s Office in Manhattan issued in connection with the prosecution of an Occupy Wall Street protester.
Free Speech for Some Means Free Speech for None

Free Speech for Some Means Free Speech for None

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:44pm

In honor of Free Speech Week, let's take a moment to acknowledge the obvious. Free speech is incredibly, almost unbelievably important, especially in a democracy.

It can also be unpleasant, uncomfortable and even downright offensive. Which…

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...

Appeals Court Overturns Decision on TheDirty.com in a Win For Free Speech

Appeals Court Overturns Decision on TheDirty.com in a Win For Free Speech

By Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:38pm

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision today in Jones v. Dirty World Entertainment, a case in which the ACLU filed an amicus brief alongside other organizations urging the Sixth Circuit to reverse a lower court’s decision holding a…

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…

VIDEO: 'We Steal Secrets' Director Discusses WikiLeaks, Manning, and More With the ACLU

VIDEO: 'We Steal Secrets' Director Discusses WikiLeaks, Manning, and More With the ACLU

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 10:13am

Alex Gibney, the Oscar-winning director of the new documentary “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks,” joined the ACLU’s Ben Wizner to talk whistleblowers, accountability, and government efforts to plug leaks.

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The start of the Bradley Manning trial this week comes against the backdrop of a broader crackdown on journalists and their sources, who play a critical role in exposing the government’s growing arsenal of secrets. Gibney and Wizner discuss the charges against Manning, and whether recent investigations—including both those against Fox News reporter James Rosen and WikiLeaks—indicate a creeping criminalization of the journalistic activity that is critical for a healthy democracy.

The result, as “We Steal Secrets” demonstrates—as does “Taxi to the Dark Side,” Gibney’s Oscar-winning documentary exploring the Bush administration’s torture regime—is an erosion of the mechanisms designed to make government both transparent and accountable for its mistakes and even crimes. Gibney asks, “Within the context of a government that’s making everything secret, there comes a point where, if there aren’t leaks, then how are we to hold the government ever to account?”

(WikiLeaks, for its part, took issue with its portrayal in “We Steal Secrets”—read some of the organization’s objections here.)

Hamas, Twitter and the First Amendment

Hamas, Twitter and the First Amendment

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:25pm

With one major exception, the Roberts Court has been quite protective of unpopular (and even revolting) speech under the First Amendment. That exception, however, is a doozy. It involves a statute criminalizing “material support” for terrorism,…

ACLU Releases New Report on Widespread Police Brutality in Puerto Rico

ACLU Releases New Report on Widespread Police Brutality in Puerto Rico

By Ateqah Khaki at 10:18am

The ACLU today released a report that finds the Puerto Rico Police Department -- the second-largest police department in the U.S. -- is plagued by a culture of unrestrained abuse and brutality. The use of excessive or lethal force is routine among…

Appeals Court Ruling Means Morris Davis Free Speech Case Can Move Ahead

Appeals Court Ruling Means Morris Davis Free Speech Case Can Move Ahead

By Josh Bell, Media Strategist, ACLU at 4:10pm

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals just issued its opinion in the ACLU’s First Amendment lawsuit on behalf of Col. Morris Davis, the former chief prosecutor at Guantánamo. He was fired from his job at the Congressional Research Service (part…

Legislating Catcalling Comes With Real Risks

Legislating Catcalling Comes With Real Risks

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:00am

The piece below was first published as part of the New York Times Room for Debate feature "Do We Need a Law Against Catcalling?" The debate used this conversation starter:

Hollaback!, an anti-street harassment organization, released…

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