Government Surveillance

VIDEO: Yes, Mass Collection of U.S. Phone Records Violates the Constitution

VIDEO: Yes, Mass Collection of U.S. Phone Records Violates the Constitution

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 4:05pm
EDITOR'S NOTE: A resounding win! A Philadelphia audience sided squarely with team civil liberties in a debate hosted yesterday by Intelligence Squared. Arguing for the motion, "Mass Collection of U.S. Phone Records Violates the Constitution," were ACLU staff attorney Alex Abdo and Elizabeth Wydra, chief counsel of the Constitutional Accountability Center. They faced off against John Yoo, a former Justice Department attorney known for authoring the Bush-era torture memos, and Stewart Baker, former NSA general counsel.
iPhone by Karlis Dambrans

Securing Our Data Should Come First

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 9:08am

This post was first published as part of the New York Times Room for Debate feature "Apple vs. the Law," which asked: How much should tech companies cooperate with the government on data access?

Apple's new encryption policy…

NSA Headquarters

New Documents Shed Light on One of the NSA's Most Powerful Tools

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:00am

Today, we're releasing several key documents about Executive Order 12333 that we obtained from the government in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that the ACLU filed (along with the Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic at Yale…

Fearmongering NSA Reform

Fearmongering NSA Reform

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 1:07pm

On June 5, 2013, Edward Snowden shocked the world, providing proof that Americans were being spied on by their own government. Some praised him as a hero, others condemned him as a traitor, but there was general consensus that the NSA had severely…

Limitless War

Limitless War

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 10:49am

This originally appeared in a Politico feature collecting responses to President Obama's recently announced military plan against ISIS.

It's strange to think of it now, but when Congress authorized President George W. Bush to use military force…

Documents Suggest Maker of Controversial Surveillance Tool Misled the FCC

Documents Suggest Maker of Controversial Surveillance Tool Misled the FCC

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project & Nicole Ozer, Technology & Civil Liberties Policy Director, ACLU of Northern California at 10:10am

New documents obtained by the ACLU of Northern California appear to show the Florida-based Harris Corporation misleading the Federal Communications Commission while seeking authorization to sell its line of Stingray cell phone surveillance gear to…

Fear of ISIS Triggers Double Threat to Checks and Balances

Fear of ISIS Triggers Double Threat to Checks and Balances

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project & Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:05pm

Whatever you may think of the harms carried out by the group referred to as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the fear of ISIS is now creating a double threat to our system of checks and balances. We now have a Congress so anxious to avoid…

The U.S. Government Can Brand You a Terrorist Based on a Facebook Post. We Can't Let Them Make up the Rules.

The U.S. Government Can Brand You a Terrorist Based on a Facebook Post. We Can't Let Them Make up the Rules.

By Arjun Sethi, ACLU at 12:17pm

This piece originally appeared at the Guardian's Comment is Free. 

The US government's web of surveillance is vast and interconnected. Now we know just how opaque, inefficient and discriminatory it can be.

As we were reminded again…

Challenge to NSA’s Mass Surveillance Inches Way Up Court System

Challenge to NSA’s Mass Surveillance Inches Way Up Court System

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 12:00am

This morning, we're heading back to court to challenge the NSA's phone-records program, this time in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.

Several district courts have already ruled on the program, with one calling it "almost Orwellian."…

A Chance to Limit Spying on Americans

A Chance to Limit Spying on Americans

By Arjun Sethi, ACLU at 3:04pm

This piece was originally published on CNN.com

For the first time in nearly 40 years, Congress looks poised to limit the powers of the U.S. intelligence community, an opportunity it should seize.

When Congress returns from its August…

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