Washington Markup

Manufacturing a “Black Separatist” Threat and Other Dubious Claims: Bias in Newly Released FBI Terrorism Training Materials

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:31pm

In a throwback to the J. Edgar Hoover-era COINTELPRO investigations targeting civil rights and anti-war activists, the FBI is now training its agents to be on the lookout for "Black Separatist" terrorists, according to FBI training materials released today by the ACLU. These new disclosures, obtained through Freedom of Information Act litigation, are the latest in a growing flood of FBI training materials that include factually flawed and biased information.

Proposed Amendments to #CISPA Don't Protect Privacy

Proposed Amendments to #CISPA Don't Protect Privacy

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:48am

We outline why privacy advocates continue to oppose CISPA, despite amendments proposed in committee yesterday.

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.

Behind Closed Doors: Congress Trying to Force Indefinite Detention Bill on Americans

Behind Closed Doors: Congress Trying to Force Indefinite Detention Bill on Americans

By Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:45pm

For most of America, the end of the year is a busy time. In Congress, this is a season usually spent trying to jam through bad bills while they hope no one is looking.

The Sweeping License to Discriminate Hidden in the NDAA

The Sweeping License to Discriminate Hidden in the NDAA

By Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:58pm

With Congress having recently approved this year’s NDAA, we think it is important to draw attention to a provision (Section 533(a)(1)), which, though hidden away, is unprecedented, sweeping, and could invite dangerous claims of a right to discriminate against not just lesbian, gay, and bisexual service members, but also women, religious minorities, and in the provision of health care.

House to Vote on FISA Amendments Act Wednesday

House to Vote on FISA Amendments Act Wednesday

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:39pm

It’s back. On Wednesday the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a five-year reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA), the 2008 law that legalized the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program and more. It…

A tipping point for Islamaphobia?

A tipping point for Islamaphobia?

By Tyler Ray, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:25pm

Have we finally reached an end to widespread Islamaphobia and religious discrimination in this country? Maybe not—but we may be reaching a turning point where bigotry becomes so blatant that it requires a response from across the political and…

No NSA Poster Child: The Real Story of 9/11 Hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar

No NSA Poster Child: The Real Story of 9/11 Hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar

By Mike German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:05am

This story originally appeared at Defense One.

Since whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed the incredible scope of the government’s domestic spying programs, two different narratives are moving forward in Congress.

One, expressed…

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…

"Beyond the imagination of George Orwell" and Other Expressions of Congressional Outrage Over NSA Spying

"Beyond the imagination of George Orwell" and Other Expressions of Congressional Outrage Over NSA Spying

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:47pm

Back in 2010, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) first started warning us that "Americans would be stunned to learn" about how broadly the government interprets its authorities under Patriot Act Section 215. Now that the cat's out of the bag about the NSA collecting…