Government Surveillance

VICTORY! Federal Appeals Court Rules Warrant Required for GPS Tracking

VICTORY! Federal Appeals Court Rules Warrant Required for GPS Tracking

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:59pm
Today the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that law enforcement agents must obtain a warrant based on probable cause to attach a GPS device to a car and track its movements. The case, United States v. Katzin, is the first in which a federal appeals court has explicitly held that a warrant is required for GPS tracking by police. The ACLU submitted an amicus brief in the case (joined by the ACLU of Pennsylvania, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) and presented oral argument to the court in March.
Photo of stingray at bottom of ocean

VICTORY: Judge Releases Information about Police Use of Stingray Cell Phone Trackers

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:12pm

A Florida judge has sided with the ACLU to order release of information about police use of “stingrays,” which are invasive surveillance devices that send out powerful signals to trick cell phones into transmitting their locations and identifying…

The First State Laws on Drones

The First State Laws on Drones

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 3:13pm

On Thursday, Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed into law the first bill in the nation protecting individuals from unfettered surveillance by unmanned aerial vehicles.

Virginia enacted the very first drones bill nationwide on April 3. Their bill…

Is There a Software Solution to the Surveillance Debate?

Is There a Software Solution to the Surveillance Debate?

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 11:04am

Last year, the president asked the intelligence community a question: Is it possible to create software that would enable targeted surveillance to act as a substitute for dragnet surveillance? In response, the National Academies released a report which…

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…

Trickle Down Surveillance

Trickle Down Surveillance

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:22am

Cell site simulators, also known as "stingrays," are devices that trick cellphones into reporting their locations and identifying information. They do so by mimicking cellphone towers and sending out electronic cues that allow the police to enlist…

Photo of Stingray from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Documents Reveal Unregulated Use of Stingrays in California

By Linda Lye, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 4:37pm

Local law enforcement agencies across the Bay Area have so-called stingray devices, a powerful cellphone surveillance tool, and more are planning to acquire the technology, according to public records recently obtained by Sacramento News10. The devices…

Former FBI Agent Mike German Talks About the NSA

Former FBI Agent Mike German Talks About the NSA

The interview below, in which Faith Braverman speaks to ACLU Senior Policy Counsel Michael German, was first published by The Daily Caller.

Mike German is a 16-year veteran of the FBI, where he served as a special agent in domestic terrorism.…

Uncle Sam's Databases of Suspicion

Uncle Sam's Databases of Suspicion

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project & Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 12:00pm

This piece originally ran at TomDispatch.com.

It began with an unexpected rapping on the front door.

When Wiley Gill opened up, no one was there. Suddenly, two police officers appeared, their guns drawn, yelling, "Chico Police Department."

"I…

The Senate Jumps into the Race to Rein in NSA Surveillance

The Senate Jumps into the Race to Rein in NSA Surveillance

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 11:50am

The race is on.

Senator Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced today a new version of the USA Freedom Act to rein in NSA surveillance, and only 10 legislative days remain to get it through the Senate before the November elections.

To put this in…

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