Freedom of Expression

Who’s a Radical Now?

Who’s a Radical Now?

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:10am
The Bipartisan Policy Center published a report last week called, “Countering Online Radicalization in America,” which strongly endorsed First Amendment principles in rejecting censorship as an appropriate tactic for addressing violent extremist content on the Internet.  The report evaluated the many methods governments around the world use to censor the Internet – including filtering or blacklisting online content, taking down websites (either through legal means, cyber attacks or appealing to private sector providers), and prosecuting Internet content producers – and rejected them all as both ineffective in stopping the spread of undesirable ideas, and an affront to American values: “For the United States, the cost-benefit analysis would be even clearer:  with its long and cherished tradition of free speech, the creation of a nationwide system of censorship is virtually inconceivable.”  But the BPC’s positive recommendations are potentially undermined by its continuing embrace of a radicalization theory that draws too close a causal connection between “radical” ideas and violent action.
FTC Proposes Changes to Privacy Law That Collide With Free Speech

FTC Proposes Changes to Privacy Law That Collide With Free Speech

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:59am

Back in the waning years of the Clinton administration, Congress quietly enacted an important internet privacy bill (the passage of which was overshadowed by other, more salacious developments). The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”)…

If Police Want Your Cell Phone Video As Evidence, Can You Just Email the File to Them?

If Police Want Your Cell Phone Video As Evidence, Can You Just Email the File to Them?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:21pm

The New York Times has an interesting story on the police seizure of witnesses’ cell phones after the shooting of a knife-wielding man in Times Square on Saturday. I wrote about that issue a few weeks ago, and how the DC police department issued…

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.

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.”…

Protesting NATO: What to Know About the Secret Service and H.R. 347

Protesting NATO: What to Know About the Secret Service and H.R. 347

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:58pm

Know before you go: what the newly passed H.R. 347 means for NATO protestors' rights.

Anti-Prostitution Pledge Puts Free Speech at Risk

Anti-Prostitution Pledge Puts Free Speech at Risk

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 12:10pm

Yesterday, we filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Supreme Court in a case called United States Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, opposing the so-called "Anti-Prostitution Pledge." The Pledge is a…

ACLU Backs Strong Speech Stance After “Muslims” Video Backlash

ACLU Backs Strong Speech Stance After “Muslims” Video Backlash

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:08pm

UPDATE: The State Department's response to the ACLU is posted here.

The ACLU sent a letter yesterday to the State Department thanking Secretary Clinton for the department’s unwavering defense of basic free speech principles in the backlash…

NYCLU Report from OWS Anniversary Protests

NYCLU Report from OWS Anniversary Protests

By Katherine Bromberg, Occupy Wall Street Coordinator, NYCLU at 5:43pm

Approximately 3,000 protesters from across the country amassed in New York City’s financial district to celebrate Occupy Wall Street’s one year anniversary.  Refusing to be deterred by the barricades and checkpoints that precluded…

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