Washington Markup

The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Religious Liberty and LGBT Rights in Defense Bill

The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Religious Liberty and LGBT Rights in Defense Bill

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:15pm
A sure sign of early summer in Washington, besides the sticky, humid air, is the House and Senate Armed Services Committees kicking off the annual process to pass the defense authorization bill – known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill always touches on a range of important ACLU issues, primarily those at the intersection of national security and civil liberties, and, this year, sexual assault in the military. But, we, as the ACLU lobbyists who focus on freedom of religion and belief and LGBT rights, weren't left out of this annual summertime rite. Here are a few of the things we saw – good, bad, and ugly.
Is the Spying Comey Approved More Important Than the Spying He Opposed?

Is the Spying Comey Approved More Important Than the Spying He Opposed?

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:05pm

What's worse than waterboarding and letting the government wiretap Americans without warrants? It's not a riddle; it is a question we need James Comey to answer, particularly if President Obama nominates him to lead the FBI for the next 10 years.

You…

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…

The PATRIOT Act’s Section 215 Must be Reformed

The PATRIOT Act’s Section 215 Must be Reformed

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:16pm

The following remarks were given by Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, at Sen. Rand Paul's press conference yesterday announcing his intention to sue the government to stop NSA surveillance of Americans' communications.…

They’re Watching: FBI Business Records Requests Jump 900 Percent Compared to 2009

They’re Watching: FBI Business Records Requests Jump 900 Percent Compared to 2009

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:14pm

Last week served as yet another reminder of the threats posed to Americans' privacy by the post-Patriot Act surveillance state...

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…

CISPA Remains Fatally Flawed After Secret Committee Markup

CISPA Remains Fatally Flawed After Secret Committee Markup

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:20pm
.style3 {font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; } .style5 {font-size: 12px; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight: bold; }

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Wednesday marked up CISPA,…

Data Tunnel

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…

With CISPA, "It's all just a little bit of history repeating..."

With CISPA, "It's all just a little bit of history repeating..."

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:48pm

The Propellerheads may have been talking about fashion trends when they sang that "to me it seems quite clear that it's all just a little bit of history repeating." But that sentiment rings loud and true today when talking about the privacy-busting…

Truly Dishonorable: Military Justice System Betrays Survivors of Sexual Assault

Truly Dishonorable: Military Justice System Betrays Survivors of Sexual Assault

By Elayne Weiss, Washington Legislative Office at 4:49pm

Rebekah Havrilla, a former Army sergeant, received no justice after she was raped by a fellow soldier while serving in Afghanistan.

On Wednesday, Rebekah testified before the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee at a hearing on military…