Government Secrecy

Is Law Enforcement Getting Wiser About Its Use of New Technologies?

Is Law Enforcement Getting Wiser About Its Use of New Technologies?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:14am
Some leading police officials around the nation seem to be realizing that high-technology surveillance systems need to be deployed with great care, lest they prompt a public backlash. As the Atlantic Cities pointed out in a piece Friday, the Seattle police department has unilaterally pulled the plug on a new citywide mesh surveillance network after a local newspaper highlighted the department’s lack of rules and policies surrounding how the network would be used, and lack of public awareness or input surrounding the system.
The NSA Can Only Spy With A Little Help From Its Feds

The NSA Can Only Spy With A Little Help From Its Feds

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:51pm

This week the ACLU published a damning report chronicling the many ways the FBI has abused post-9/11 authorities to spy on everyday Americans. As we noted, the FBI is even enmeshed in the broad suspicionless NSA dragnet of American phone calls.

One…

Annotated: The Most Important Passage from President Obama's NSA Speech

Annotated: The Most Important Passage from President Obama's NSA Speech

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:41pm

President Obama just gave a landmark speech about NSA surveillance and the future of digital privacy...

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...

In Court Today: Challenging DOJ Secrecy on Use of Warrantless Cell Phone Location Tracking

In Court Today: Challenging DOJ Secrecy on Use of Warrantless Cell Phone Location Tracking

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 10:47am

Way back in 2007, we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking information about how and when the government obtains cell phone location data without a warrant. Since then, we have learned that the practice of using cell phones as tracking…

The Nine Things You Should Know About the NSA Recommendations From the President’s Review Group

The Nine Things You Should Know About the NSA Recommendations From the President’s Review Group

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:00am

The President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies just issued a report that unequivocally rejected the notion that privacy and civil liberties must be sacrificed in order to achieve a balance with national security. Liberty and Security in a Changing World includes 46 recommendations for how to reform Intelligence Community programs and practices, several of which would go a long way toward protecting Americans' rights. Here are the nine most important things you need to know about those recommendations.

What We Know About License Plate Tracking, What We Don't, And Our Plan to Find Out More

What We Know About License Plate Tracking, What We Don't, And Our Plan to Find Out More

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 12:31pm

Today the ACLU is launching a nationwide effort to find out more about automatic license plate readers (ALPR). By snapping photographs of each license plate they encounter—up to three thousand per minute—and retaining records of who was…

What Does a Soviet Submarine Have to Do With U.S. Government Secrecy?

What Does a Soviet Submarine Have to Do With U.S. Government Secrecy?

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:54am

It is the height of the Cold War. A nuclear-missile-equipped Soviet submarine sinks in the Pacific Ocean, in suspicious circumstances. The CIA commissions reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes to secretly build a massive ship capable of lifting the submarine…

Is the Security State Mainly Looking Out For Us, Or For Itself? Two Paradigms Compared

Is the Security State Mainly Looking Out For Us, Or For Itself? Two Paradigms Compared

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:04am

Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing has generated much debate within the United States over whether his leaking of NSA documents was a heroic act or something deserving of punishment. And the NSA activities that he has revealed have similarly generated…

Beyond Bradley Manning: The Government Has Made Its Point (UPDATED)

Beyond Bradley Manning: The Government Has Made Its Point (UPDATED)

By Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:44am

UPDATE (8/21/13): Bradley Manning was sentenced by a military judge today to 35 years in prison. In response, the ACLU’s Ben Wizner said:

When a soldier who shared information with the press and public is punished far more harshly than…

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