Government Surveillance

Computers vs. Humans: What Constitutes A Privacy Invasion?

Computers vs. Humans: What Constitutes A Privacy Invasion?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:37pm
The NSA is refusing to tell two U.S. Senators how many Americans the agency has eavesdropped upon. According to a letter obtained by Wired, the NSA claims that “dedicating sufficient additional resources” to gather that information “would likely impede the NSA’s mission.” (For all the billions that the NSA spends, they cannot spare the money to answer a key civil liberties oversight question posed by elected civilian officials? Shameful.)
"Let's Put The Whole Elephant Out There": President Obama's Speech and Bulk Searches of Americans’ Emails

"Let's Put The Whole Elephant Out There": President Obama's Speech and Bulk Searches of Americans’ Emails

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 6:21pm

In his news conference last Friday, President Obama acknowledged the need for critical reforms to the National Security Agency's surveillance programs. Yet despite his nod toward greater transparency — what he called an effort to "put the whole elephant…

Virginia State Police Used License Plate Readers At Political Rallies, Built Huge Database

Virginia State Police Used License Plate Readers At Political Rallies, Built Huge Database

By Rebecca Glenberg, Legal Director, ACLU of Virginia at 5:14pm

From 2010 until last spring, the Virginia State Police (VSP) maintained a massive database of license plates that allowed them to pinpoint the locations of millions of cars on particular dates and times. Even more disturbing, the agency used automatic…

U.N. to Review NSA Privacy Violations Among Other U.S. Rights Abuses

U.N. to Review NSA Privacy Violations Among Other U.S. Rights Abuses

By Jamil Dakwar, Director, ACLU Human Rights Program at 11:31am

Human rights advocates from across the country are joining together today in a National Day of Action to raise awareness about the state of human rights in the United States at the local, state, and federal levels, and to spotlight areas where the…

DHS Releases Disappointing Civil Liberties Report on Border Searches of Laptops and Other Electronics

DHS Releases Disappointing Civil Liberties Report on Border Searches of Laptops and Other Electronics

By Brian Hauss, Legal Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 3:49pm

In response to an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request, the Department of Homeland Security has at long last released its December 2011 Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Impact Assessment of its policy of conducting suspicionless searches of electronic…

If the Government Is Tracking Your Location or Reading Your Email, Would You Ever Know?

If the Government Is Tracking Your Location or Reading Your Email, Would You Ever Know?

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 12:36pm

Court rulings unsealed last week in Washington show for the first time a behind-the-scenes legal battle over when the government should have to tell you that it's tracking your location and reading your email. These documents—which came to light…

Today at the Supreme Court: The Right to Challenge Warrantless Wiretapping

Today at the Supreme Court: The Right to Challenge Warrantless Wiretapping

By Mitra Ebadolahi, Border Litigation Staff Attorney, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties at 6:26pm

The ACLU appeared before the Supreme Court to argue for the right of Americans to challenge a law that instituted a far-reaching and unconstitutional surveillance regime. 

PCLOB to Examine Legal Underpinnings of NSA Surveillance

PCLOB to Examine Legal Underpinnings of NSA Surveillance

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 10:54am

Today, the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer will appear before the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board as its members question government officials, privacy advocates, law professors, and policy experts about the government’s surveillance programs…

Three Things to Know About the Government Privacy Report on NSA Spying

Three Things to Know About the Government Privacy Report on NSA Spying

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 1:43pm

This piece was originally published on Slate.

On Thursday, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board released its long-awaited report on the NSA's phone-records program. That's the program in which the NSA collects—and…

I Broke Into an FBI Office and Took Every Document. Here’s Why.

I Broke Into an FBI Office and Took Every Document. Here’s Why.

By Bonnie Raines at 3:50pm

Last week, I publicly revealed my identity as a member of the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI, a group that in 1971 broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, took documents proving that the FBI had been spying on innocent Americans,…

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