Freedom of Expression

Twitter Subpoenas Chill Free Speech; Latest Example is in San Francisco

Twitter Subpoenas Chill Free Speech; Latest Example is in San Francisco

By Linda Lye, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 4:52pm
In a disturbing trend that can have a chilling effect on free speech, law enforcement agencies around the country are seeking wide-ranging information about the social networking activity of political activists. The San Francisco District Attorney recently issued subpoenas to Twitter for tweets by two political protesters, Lauren Smith and Robert Donohoe, who had been charged with rioting and unlawful assembly during a Columbus Day demonstration last year. They had been active on Twitter but disabled their accounts after the protest.
You Can’t Hide Families Behind The Desk: How Utah School Officials Are Violating The First Amendment In Library Book Case

You Can’t Hide Families Behind The Desk: How Utah School Officials Are Violating The First Amendment In Library Book Case

By Joshua Block, LGBT Project at 1:09pm

The ACLU LGBT Project and the ACLU of Utah filed a lawsuit earlier today challenging a decision by Davis School District in Davis County, Utah, to remove a children’s picture book about a family with two moms from all elementary school libraries…

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…

Is the ACLU Inconsistent on Regulation of Speech and Privacy?

Is the ACLU Inconsistent on Regulation of Speech and Privacy?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:02pm

Adam Thierer of the libertarian Mercatus Center posted a thoughtful critique of my recent piece on online tracking and consumer “choice.” I wrote about a new paper on behavioral advertising and how it “demonstrates the absurdity of…

Stolen Valor Vote in House Today

Stolen Valor Vote in House Today

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:22pm

The second coming of the “Stolen Valor” Act (the Supreme Court struck down the first iteration on First Amendment grounds last term) is on the House’s “suspension” calendar today, meaning it will pass with a two-thirds…

Government’s “Anti-leak” Measures Attack Privacy and the Press

Government’s “Anti-leak” Measures Attack Privacy and the Press

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:16pm

Although the conflict between government classification rules and practices and the First Amendment rights necessary to promote a free and open society is nothing new, recent developments may indicate an alarming shift away from basic First Amendment…

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…

Spying on Occupy?

Spying on Occupy?

By Linda Lye, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 10:43am

Originally posted by the ACLU of Northern California

Why is the FBI spying on Occupy protesters? The ACLU-NC is determined to find out.

The ACLU of Northern California and San Francisco Bay Guardian today filed a Freedom of Information…

Selective Leaks Worst of All Worlds for Free Speech

Selective Leaks Worst of All Worlds for Free Speech

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:21pm

As the election summer heats up, Republicans in Congress are making hay with what they claim are selective leaks by the Obama administration, designed to bolster the president’s national security cred. At a Senate Judiciary hearing yesterday,…

Police and Photography: Can’t Stop the Signal

Police and Photography: Can’t Stop the Signal

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:05pm

There’s been an uptick in protest activity this month around the country–May Day saw a resurgence in the Occupy movement, and further protests are expected around the NATO summit in Chicago, set for May 20th. It’s a safe bet that…

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