Washington Markup

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.
Don't Be Fooled by New NDAA Detention Amendment

Don't Be Fooled by New NDAA Detention Amendment

By Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:14pm

The Senate is once again debating the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and is within a day or two of voting yet again on the issue of indefinite detention without charge or trial in the United States itself.

Last year, Congress…

New Cybersecurity Amendments Unveiled to Address Privacy Concerns

New Cybersecurity Amendments Unveiled to Address Privacy Concerns

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:28pm

No cyber news is usually good news, but today is an exception.  Senators have unveiled significant privacy amendments that will be incorporated into S. 2105, the Cybersecurity Act.  Authored by Sens. Lieberman, Feinstein, Rockefeller and…

Too Classified for Congress? When It Comes to Congressional Oversight of Intelligence Activities, Transparency Should Always Triumph Over Secrecy

Too Classified for Congress? When It Comes to Congressional Oversight of Intelligence Activities, Transparency Should Always Triumph Over Secrecy

By Nathaniel J. Turner, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:11pm

Tomorrow the House of Representatives will have a choice to make: openness and transparency, or secrecy and business as usual. From NSA surveillance to CIA torture, congressional oversight of intelligence activities over the last decade has been inadequate.…

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…

Fearmongering NSA Reform

Fearmongering NSA Reform

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 1:07pm

On June 5, 2013, Edward Snowden shocked the world, providing proof that Americans were being spied on by their own government. Some praised him as a hero, others condemned him as a traitor, but there was general consensus that the NSA had severely…

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:…

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…

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.

Shedding Light on the Dark Side – A Call to Congress to Release the SSCI Report

Shedding Light on the Dark Side – A Call to Congress to Release the SSCI Report

By Amshula Jayaram, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:07am

Last week, nearly four years after President Obama closed the CIA’s Detention, Interrogation and Rendition Program, the American public is one step closer to learning the truth about a program that sanctioned the torture of terrorism suspects.…