Washington Markup

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.

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…

A Platform to Build Real NSA Reform

A Platform to Build Real NSA Reform

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:57pm

The piece below was first published as part of the New York Times Room for Debate feature "Reining in the N.S.A.," which used this conversation starter:

Last week the House voted to limit the National Security Agency's sweeping collection…

Stalling on Surveillance Reform Could Cost the GOP

Stalling on Surveillance Reform Could Cost the GOP

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 3:07pm

NSA reform could be the thorn in the side of the Republican Party next year.

Right now, there is a viable, bipartisan bill called the USA Freedom Act that would limit government spying on Americans and has received support from members of both…

From the Land of the Liberty Bell: Investigate the NSA

From the Land of the Liberty Bell: Investigate the NSA

By Andy Hoover, Legislative Director, ACLU of Pennsylvania at 12:30pm

Here in Pennsylvania, we have a full-time legislature, so as the lobbyist for the Pennsylvania affiliate of the ACLU, I have plenty of opportunities for face time with state legislators and staff. Since June, I've been hearing a similar refrain repeatedly:…

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.

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.

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.

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…