Freedom of Expression

DOJ's AP Phone Logs Grab Highlights Renewed Need for Shield Law

DOJ's AP Phone Logs Grab Highlights Renewed Need for Shield Law

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:31pm
Update: The administration has asked Sen. Schumer to reintroduce the Free Flow of Information Act, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) just announced that he will do so in the House, and Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) introduced a similar bill today. The administration should certainly be commended for taking proactive steps to prevent this from happening again. That said, the administration can’t get in the way this time. The demand in 2009 for a broad exception for national security leaks cases delayed the bill, and tempered enthusiasm among Democrats for the bill in the face of strong opposition by certain Republicans. The 2013 bill must protect against what happened here with the AP, and it’s not clear that the 2009 White House compromise would have done so.
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…

Rhetorical Support Is Not “Material Support”

Rhetorical Support Is Not “Material Support”

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 2:37pm

We Americans cherish few rights more than the right to speak our minds. And yet that right often comes under attack. Most recently, the federal government has used laws criminalizing the “material support” of foreign…

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,…

Fifty Shades of Censorship

Fifty Shades of Censorship

By Maria Kayanan, Associate Legal Director, ACLU of Florida at 4:35pm

This year marks the 30th anniversary of “Banned Books Week,” the American Library Association’s rousing celebration of free speech, and its condemnation of government shackling of library bookshelves across the nation. Free speech is a core mission of the ACLU: books are speech. They enrich us; they teach us; they entertain us; they confound us; and they challenge us. And sometimes, they make us uncomfortable. But there is no room on library shelves for censorship.

BREAKING NEWS: Twitter Stands Up For One Of Its Users

BREAKING NEWS: Twitter Stands Up For One Of Its Users

By Aden Fine, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 12:59pm

Twitter has filed a motion in state court in New York seeking to quash a court order requiring it to turn over information about one of its users and his communications on Twitter. This particular case involves a Twitter user, Malcolm Harris,…

Librarians for Privacy

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:54pm

The American Library Association has created an excellent public education resource on the privacy issues facing our society – a web site called privacyrevolution.org.

The ALA has long been a staunch defender of privacy and free speech,…

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…

Far More than a Half-Measure on News Media Investigations

Far More than a Half-Measure on News Media Investigations

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:06am

Late last week, the attorney general released a report on new guidelines governing when and how the Justice Department can investigate members of the news media.

Prompted by the controversies over the excessively broad subpoena issued to the…

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