Washington Markup

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 last Friday with congressional leaders to avert falling off the cliff, and the Obama administration is planning to unveil an alternative that would replace the cuts for 6-12 months with more-targeted reductions and revenue increases. Immigration policy is an important consideration to keep in mind during these negotiations. Specifically, we encourage the president’s forthcoming plan to include specific cuts that right-size the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by cutting wasteful and unnecessary immigration enforcement spending.
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…

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…

A tipping point for Islamaphobia?

A tipping point for Islamaphobia?

By Tyler Ray, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:25pm

Have we finally reached an end to widespread Islamaphobia and religious discrimination in this country? Maybe not—but we may be reaching a turning point where bigotry becomes so blatant that it requires a response from across the political and…

Senate Votes Down Improved Cybersecurity Bill

Senate Votes Down Improved Cybersecurity Bill

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:12pm

This morning, the Senate voted against moving forward on cybersecurity legislation, ending the bill’s chances at final passage.

As we told you earlier this week, the Senate version of the cybersecurity bill (S. 3414, the Cybersecurity…