Washington Markup

113th Congress - S. 2685 - USA Freedom Act

Are We Getting Fooled on Surveillance Reform?

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:36pm
This piece originally appeared on the Monkey Cage blog at washingtonpost.com.
TSA on the Defensive Again: Effective Security or Security Theater?

TSA on the Defensive Again: Effective Security or Security Theater?

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:18am

Monday's House hearing on TSA security measures examined whether airport security measures have been truly effective at preventing terrorism, or just create an illusion of safety.

Misdirection: The House Intelligence Committee’s Misleading Patriot Act Talking Points

Misdirection: The House Intelligence Committee’s Misleading Patriot Act Talking Points

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:46pm

This week the House Intelligence Committee circulated nine talking points to its members explaining why the dragnet collection of innocent Americans’ call records is both legal and effective at stopping terrorism. After reviewing the document, the ACLU has gone point-by-point, making notes that either refute or raise serious doubts about almost every assertion in the one-pager. Just click on the document below and hover on the red dots to see our comments.

Thank You Mr. President – In Big Win for Privacy, Administration Issues CISPA Veto Threat!

Thank You Mr. President – In Big Win for Privacy, Administration Issues CISPA Veto Threat!

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:32pm

Over the last few months, more than 50,000 ACLU supporters signed our petition to the president urging him to veto CISPA if it made it to his desk. Not only did the president hear your calls – yesterday, he answered them with a resounding win for…

The Biggest New Spying Program You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

The Biggest New Spying Program You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:18pm

Update: Since this piece was posted, the ACLU has filed FOIA requests seeking more information on data-mining by the NCTC. Read more »

What if a government spy agency had power to copy and data mine information about ordinary Americans…

A Look at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

A Look at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:31pm

In 1998, Congress created the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom to draw attention to violations of religious freedom in other countries. The commissioners vote annually to list countries that are of particular concern or place…

What Crack Cocaine Teaches Us About NSA Reform

What Crack Cocaine Teaches Us About NSA Reform

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:41am

This piece originally ran at POLITICO Magazine.

This week, Patrick Leahy, the Democratic senator from Vermont, introduced a revised version of the USA Freedom Act, a bill to finally start pulling the reins on America's out-of-control surveillance…

NSA Congress

House Tees Up Surveillance Reform for Senate

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 5:10pm

For the second time in just one month, late last night the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation – this time as an amendment to an appropriations bill that will now move to the Senate – aimed at reining in NSA abuse.

In…

The Guantánamo Money Pit

The Guantánamo Money Pit

By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:55am

The New York Times last week had good news for those looking to cut the exorbitant spending associated with the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. According to the paper, the Department of Defense rejected a proposal from U.S. Southern Command for…

James Comey: Two Thumbs-Up on Waterboarding?

James Comey: Two Thumbs-Up on Waterboarding?

By Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:00pm

Waterboarding and other torture tactics may once again take center stage in yet another nomination fight. But this time, the stakes involve a ten-year appointment to head the FBI.

Before President Obama nominates—and certainly before the…