Washington Markup

ACLU Testifies as Congress Takes on Domestic Drones

ACLU Testifies as Congress Takes on Domestic Drones

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:44pm

The ACLU testified before a House field forum examining drone technology and the Fourth Amendment at Rice University called by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.). Drones have gotten a lot of attention lately – U.S. law enforcement agencies are eager to get their hands on them while civil libertarians are concerned about the potential threat to privacy.

CISPA's Problem Isn't Bad PR, It’s Bad Privacy

CISPA's Problem Isn't Bad PR, It’s Bad Privacy

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:28am

Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI) made the argument last week that the privacy community’s significant concerns with CISPA, the privacy-busting cybersecurity bill, don’t stem from actual problems with the bill language, but rather from a misunderstanding…

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.

Senate Homeland Security Committee Misses the Mark with Statement on DHS “Fusion Center” Program

Senate Homeland Security Committee Misses the Mark with Statement on DHS “Fusion Center” Program

By Kara Dansky, Senior Counsel, ACLU Center for Justice at 2:35pm

Last week, the Senate Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations issued a report criticizing the Department of Homeland Security for its failure to ensure proper oversight over state and local “fusion centers.” …

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…

The Biggest Threat to Free Speech and Intellectual Property That You’ve Never Heard Of

The Biggest Threat to Free Speech and Intellectual Property That You’ve Never Heard Of

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:22pm

As we have seen in the failed attempts of SOPA/PIPA, and the floundering Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, intellectual property (“IP”) laws are often poorly constructed, hastily proposed and ultimately both ineffective and potentially…

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.

Obama’s Pick to Lead FBI Approved Waterboarding Under Bush: Time to Speak Out

Obama’s Pick to Lead FBI Approved Waterboarding Under Bush: Time to Speak Out

By Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 7:52pm

While most of us are enjoying an extra-long July 4th weekend, James Comey, a top Bush lawyer who approved waterboarding...

"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…

Bill to Stop Modern Day Slavery under Government Contracts

Bill to Stop Modern Day Slavery under Government Contracts

By Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:44pm

Last month the ACLU released a joint report with Yale Law School, Victims of Complacency, that documents the ongoing trafficking, forced labor and abuse of foreign workers hired through U.S. government contracts to work in support of U.S. military…