Patriot Act

The government claims sweeping authority under the Patriot Act to collect a record of every single phone call made by every single American "on an ongoing daily basis." This program not only exceeds the authority given to the government by Congress, but it violates the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment, and the rights of free speech and association protected by the First Amendment. Click here to read more about the ACLU's work to reform the Patriot Act. 

Photo source: Chelsea Gomez from Flickr

Are "Two Hops" Too Many?

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 12:07pm
This is the second blog in a three-part series.
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…

Smartphone with courthouse application selected.

Friends in High Places Support NSA Call-Tracking Lawsuit

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 1:26pm

One week after the ACLU filed the first appellate brief challenging the government’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, we’re getting a little help from our friends. Yesterday, seven prominent and…

How the Phone Dragnet Slipped Through Cracks in Oversight

How the Phone Dragnet Slipped Through Cracks in Oversight

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 4:34pm

Last week, the Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) issued a scathing report about the government's use of Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect the phone records of every American for the last seven years. While much attention…

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…

ACLU Appeals Decision Upholding NSA's Mass Surveillance

ACLU Appeals Decision Upholding NSA's Mass Surveillance

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 4:07pm

The ACLU filed an appeal on Thursday in New York challenging the dismissal of our lawsuit against the NSA's mass call-tracking program. Through the program, the government collects records on every call made and received in this country, allowing it…

The Nine Things You Should Know About the NSA Recommendations From the President’s Review Group

The Nine Things You Should Know About the NSA Recommendations From the President’s Review Group

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:00am

The President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies just issued a report that unequivocally rejected the notion that privacy and civil liberties must be sacrificed in order to achieve a balance with national security. Liberty and Security in a Changing World includes 46 recommendations for how to reform Intelligence Community programs and practices, several of which would go a long way toward protecting Americans' rights. Here are the nine most important things you need to know about those recommendations.

The USA FREEDOM Act Answers Judge Leon's Constitutional Concerns

The USA FREEDOM Act Answers Judge Leon's Constitutional Concerns

By Gaurav Laroia, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:34pm

The D.C. District Court decision this week in Klayman v. Obama, holding that the NSA's bulk telephone metadata program likely violates the Fourth Amendment, dealt a major blow to those seeking to codify the program into law. (The ACLU's challenge to…

The NSA's Winter of Discontent

The NSA's Winter of Discontent

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:01pm

Originally posted on The Huffington Post.

The summer of Snowden is fast becoming the NSA's winter of discontent.

This week, tech giants Google, Apple, Facebook and others published an open letter to President Obama and Congress urging…

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