Government Oversight

The USA FREEDOM Act is Real Spying Reform

The USA FREEDOM Act is Real Spying Reform

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:11am
Over the last several months, members of Congress have introduced at least two dozen spying reform and transparency bills. Today, a new proposal called the USA FREEDOM Act from Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) was introduced to significantly limit the collection and use of Americans' information under our nation's spying laws. The ACLU strongly supports the legislation.
The National Security State: Why it’s Important to Understand the Nature of the Beast

The National Security State: Why it’s Important to Understand the Nature of the Beast

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:48pm

In two recent posts I argued that it is useful to think of the national security establishment as a thoughtless organism prone to certain predictable behaviors such as self-preservation, expansion, and secrecy. But what are the policy implications,…

Computers vs. Humans: What Constitutes A Privacy Invasion?

Computers vs. Humans: What Constitutes A Privacy Invasion?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:37pm

The NSA is refusing to tell two U.S. Senators how many Americans the agency has eavesdropped upon. According to a letter obtained by Wired, the NSA claims that “dedicating sufficient additional resources” to gather that information “would likely…

The US's Story of Torture Doesn't Have to End With Impunity

The US's Story of Torture Doesn't Have to End With Impunity

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 5:16pm

After five long years of investigation, declassification, and redaction – not to mention outright obstruction by the CIA – the Senate Intelligence Committee today shone more light on CIA torture and made a historic and necessary contribution to…

The NSA Surveillance Order, Explained by the ACLU

The NSA Surveillance Order, Explained by the ACLU

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 5:58pm

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order released yesterday by The Guardian reveals that the U.S. government is regularly tracking the phone calls of potentially millions of Americans.

ACLU attorneys have been monitoring the U.S. government’s…

On the Prospect of Blackmail by the NSA

On the Prospect of Blackmail by the NSA

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:47am

Sometimes when I hear public officials speaking out in defense of NSA spying, I can’t help thinking, even if just for a moment, “what if the NSA has something on that person and that’s why he or she is saying this?”

Of course it’s…

Under the FISA Amendments Act, Your Calls and Emails Can’t Be "Targeted," But They Can Certainly Be Collected

Under the FISA Amendments Act, Your Calls and Emails Can’t Be "Targeted," But They Can Certainly Be Collected

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 2:59pm

In recent days, government officials have lined up to assuage Americans' fears...

Why Government Access to Metadata is More Than a 'Modest Encroachment' on Privacy

Why Government Access to Metadata is More Than a 'Modest Encroachment' on Privacy

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:56pm

Metadata is back in the news, following The Guardian's extraordinary revelation on Wednesday revealing that the National Security Agency...

The Biggest Threat to Free Speech and Intellectual Property That You’ve Never Heard Of

The Biggest Threat to Free Speech and Intellectual Property That You’ve Never Heard Of

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:22pm

As we have seen in the failed attempts of SOPA/PIPA, and the floundering Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, intellectual property (“IP”) laws are often poorly constructed, hastily proposed and ultimately both ineffective and potentially…

The FISA Court’s Problems Run Deep, and More Than Tinkering is Required

The FISA Court’s Problems Run Deep, and More Than Tinkering is Required

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:14am

With the latest release of documents about the NSA and the FISA Court (this one in response to an ACLU/EFF Freedom of Information Act request) we now have yet more evidence that the NSA’s compliance with the court’s orders has been poor. We learn,…

Statistics image