Washington Markup

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.…

Nation’s Top Spies Still Mum on How Many Americans They’ve Surveilled

Nation’s Top Spies Still Mum on How Many Americans They’ve Surveilled

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:29pm

Last month I wrote about how Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has been rebuffed in his multi-year effort to get answers to very basic questions about how the government uses the sweeping authorities granted under the FISA Amendments Act (FISA).

Wyden…

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…

ACLU to President Obama: Tackle the Homeland Security Budget in Your Plan to Avert Fiscal Cliff

ACLU to President Obama: Tackle the Homeland Security Budget in Your Plan to Avert Fiscal Cliff

By Shawn Jain, Media Strategist, ACLU at 4:22pm

Much attention has turned to the so-called “fiscal cliff” of spending cuts and increases in taxes that could take effect in early 2013 barring congressional action. According to  The Wall Street Journaland others, the president met…

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.

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.” …

Warrant for Email? An Update

Warrant for Email? An Update

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:22pm

Last Thursday we moved half a step closer to legislation requiring police to get a warrant before viewing personal email or other private electronic communications, such as documents and photos stored in the cloud (with Google, Yahoo or any other provider). …

At DADT Repeal’s One-Year Anniversary, Refusing to Turn Back the Clock

At DADT Repeal’s One-Year Anniversary, Refusing to Turn Back the Clock

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:09am

This Thursday, September 20, marks one year since the discriminatory policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) finally came to an end, opening the door to service in the Armed Forces to individuals regardless of their sexual orientation.

House Reauthorizes Warrantless Wiretapping Program

House Reauthorizes Warrantless Wiretapping Program

By Ateqah Khaki at 5:53pm

Today, the House of Representatives passed a reauthorization of the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, an unconstitutional domestic spying law that gives vast, unchecked surveillance authority to the government. The law, passed in July of 2008, authorizes…