NSA

The National Security Agency's mass surveillance of American citizens has greatly expanded in the years since September 11, 2001. Recent disclosures have shown that the government is regularly tracking all of the calls of almost every ordinary American and spying on a vast but unknown number of Americans' international calls, text messages, and emails. Click here to learn what we're doing to rein in the surveillance state.

Graphs by MIT Students Show the Enormously Intrusive Nature of Metadata

Graphs by MIT Students Show the Enormously Intrusive Nature of Metadata

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 11:47am
You've probably heard politicians or pundits say that “metadata doesn't matter.” They argue that police and intelligence agencies shouldn't need probable cause warrants to collect information about our communications. Metadata isn’t all that revealing, they say, it’s just numbers.
Tide Finally Turning on the Surveillance State?

Tide Finally Turning on the Surveillance State?

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 4:16pm

With 2013 coming to a close, we finally have reason to believe that the NSA surveillance state will soon follow suit. The government’s “collect-it-all” programs were dealt blow after blow this week – by a federal judge, from within the executive…

Edward Snowden: This Saturday, Demand an End to the Surveillance State

Edward Snowden: This Saturday, Demand an End to the Surveillance State

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 2:40pm

If the government had its way, no one would have any idea that it regularly tracks all of our phone calls and much of our online activity.

But thanks to Edward Snowden's disclosures, we now know quite a bit more about how the NSA's surveillance…

From the NSA to License Plate Readers: Are We to Have a “Collect it All” Society?

From the NSA to License Plate Readers: Are We to Have a “Collect it All” Society?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:44am

If the NSA needs a slogan, it should probably be “collect it all.” As phrased by an anonymous intel official recently quoted by the Washington Post, that has apparently been the approach of agency leadership in recent years. But the fight over whether that’s an appropriate strategy for keeping order in a democratic society is one that stretches far beyond the NSA programs now being debated.

For example, look at automatic license plate recognition systems, which are now sprouting up around the country. As we detailed in our recent report on the technology, many police departments are collecting and storing not only information about vehicles that are wanted by the police, but also location information about everybody who drives a car. Some police have defended this practice by arguing, essentially, that “you never know when or what we might need to solve a crime.”

In other words, nobody who accepts the NSA’s argument that universal collection is the right answer ought to be surprised when

Statement From Edward Snowden

Statement From Edward Snowden

In a very short period, the world has learned that some intelligence services operate unaccountable and occasionally criminal dragnet surveillance programs. While the NSA and GCHQ appear to be the worst offenders, we must remember that mass surveillance is a global problem and needs global solutions.

It's Official: NSA Wants to Suck up All Americans’ Phone Records

It's Official: NSA Wants to Suck up All Americans’ Phone Records

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:58pm

The NSA has officially stopped sugar coating the fact that it wants to spy on every American.

At yesterday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on FISA legislation, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) asked NSA director, Gen. Keith Alexander, whether…

"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…

Government surveillance oversight

Congress Shouldn't Settle for the President's Opening Offer on NSA Reform

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:28pm

This is the first post in 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.…

Obama's NSA Proposal Reveals a Broken Oversight System

Obama's NSA Proposal Reveals a Broken Oversight System

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 2:41pm

This piece originally ran at the Guardian.

To anyone who criticized the National Security Agency's phone-records dragnet over the last nine months or so, the American intelligence community had this stock response: all three branches of government…

Edward Snowden

The Tech Community Can Put Out the Fire the NSA Started

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 1:23pm

This piece originally ran at the Guardian.

“You are the firefighters,” National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden told a tech savvy audience here yesterday, during my conversation with him at the SXSW festival. “The…

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