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.
Finally, a Day in Court to Challenge Mass Surveillance

Finally, a Day in Court to Challenge Mass Surveillance

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 11:11am

For more than seven years, the government has collected the phone records of every American under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, without ever having to justify the program's legality in a public and adversarial court hearing — that is, until this…

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.…

Latest FISA Court Opinion: A Preview of Surveillance Without Limits

Latest FISA Court Opinion: A Preview of Surveillance Without Limits

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 1:35pm

The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) released an opinion yesterday explaining its decision to allow the NSA to collect a record of every single phone call made by every single American every single day.

The program—which…

Mobile Phone Surveillance by the Numbers

Mobile Phone Surveillance by the Numbers

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:56am

Wow.  Sometimes one word says it all.  The New York Times reports that in response to letters from Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), mobile phone providers disclosed that they received approximately 1.3 million law enforcement…

Dragnet Surveillance and the English Language

Dragnet Surveillance and the English Language

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 11:33am

The revelations over the past nine months that the United States is engaging in various mass-surveillance programs that collect and store huge amounts of information about both Americans and foreigners has rightly invited frequent references to George…

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,…

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…

Privacy keyboard Photo source: g4ll4is from Flickr

Let's Lock Down the NSA's Shadow Database

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:07am

This is the final blog of a three-part series.

Less than a year after the NSA's dragnet surveillance of Americans was first exposed to public scrutiny, the president has formally issued a proposal to end the bulk collection of our phone records.…

Ohio Aerial Surveillance System Moving Forward Without Having to Wait For FAA Drone Rules

Ohio Aerial Surveillance System Moving Forward Without Having to Wait For FAA Drone Rules

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 9:07am

I wrote recently about ARGUS, the high-flying drone technology capable of capturing super-high-definition video of a 15-square mile area...

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