Government Surveillance

Privacy Rights are Human Rights

Privacy Rights are Human Rights

By Steven M. Watt, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 10:45am
Today and tomorrow the United Nations Human Rights Committee will review the United States’ compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. To assist in the review of U.S. compliance with the covenant’s privacy protections, the American Civil Liberties Union today released a report, “Privacy in the Digital Age,” which interprets how Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights should protect privacy in an age where technology enables mass surveillance. Article 17 protects everyone from arbitrary or unlawful interferences with their “privacy, family, home or correspondence” from state intrusion. The ACLU urges the Human Rights Committee to issue a new interpretation of Article 17 that fully protects the privacy of everyone from governments everywhere.
Big Brother's Always Been Watching Some of U.S.

Big Brother's Always Been Watching Some of U.S.

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:49am

As revelations from whistleblower Edward Snowden continue to mount, Americans have been shocked by the NSA's incredible invasions of privacy - some more so than others.

There has been a noticeable difference between the reactions of minority…

Use of Automated License Plate Readers Expanding in Northern California, and Data is Shared With Feds

Use of Automated License Plate Readers Expanding in Northern California, and Data is Shared With Feds

By Matthew Cagle, Volunteer Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 10:51am

The feeling of freedom that comes from driving down California’s sunny open roads is at risk—and rising gas prices are not to blame. Our investigations show that at least twenty Northern California law enforcement entities as well as the California…

New Documents Suggest IRS Reads Emails Without a Warrant

New Documents Suggest IRS Reads Emails Without a Warrant

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:00am

Everyone knows the IRS is our nation’s tax collector, but it is also a law enforcement organization tasked with investigating criminal violations of the tax laws. New documents released to the ACLU under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that…

Surveillance and Security Lessons From the Petraeus Scandal

Surveillance and Security Lessons From the Petraeus Scandal

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 4:24pm

When the CIA director cannot hide his activities online, what hope is there for the rest of us? In the unfolding sex scandal that has led to the resignation of David Petraeus, the FBI’s electronic surveillance and tracking of Petraeus and his…

Finger pressing security button on keyboard

Protect our Privacy – Protect our Metadata

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 10:05am

Imagine bringing a date home for dinner. You put the laptop away and mute your phone. You prepare a gourmet home-cooked meal for two, queue up a selection of romantic songs and pick out a movie to watch after dinner. As the evening winds down, your…

How Private is Your Online Search History?

How Private is Your Online Search History?

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:04pm

The ACLU has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Justice to find out whether federal law enforcement agencies and prosecutors think they need a warrant to obtain people’s search queries from online search engine operators,…

How to Stop the Government From Putting Another Lavabit Out of Business

How to Stop the Government From Putting Another Lavabit Out of Business

By Brian Hauss, Legal Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 11:35am

Late last night, the ACLU and ACLU of Virginia filed an amicus brief urging a federal appeals court to overturn a contempt-of-court finding against Lavabit, the now-defunct secure email service provider. The company had been resisting a court order…

The NSA is turning the internet into a total surveillance system

The NSA is turning the internet into a total surveillance system

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project & Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:13am

Now we know all Americans' international email is searched and saved, we can see how far the 'collect it all' mission has gone...

Does Surveillance Affect Us Even When We Can’t Confirm We’re Being Watched? Lessons From Behind the Iron Curtain

Does Surveillance Affect Us Even When We Can’t Confirm We’re Being Watched? Lessons From Behind the Iron Curtain

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:16pm

During the Cold War, as I argued last week, the totalitarian governments of the Soviet bloc functioned as a standing warning to Americans of the dangers of unchecked surveillance—lessons that we would do well to remember despite the fall of the…

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