Washington Markup

FBI Interrogation Primer Encourages Prisoner Isolation

FBI Interrogation Primer Encourages Prisoner Isolation

By Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:31am
Today, the ACLU released a 2011 FBI “primer” on overseas interrogation that calls into question whether the FBI is adhering to its own policy prohibiting coercive techniques. The 2011 primer was obtained by the ACLU and colleague organizations through Freedom of Information Act litigation. It was written by an FBI Section Chief within the counterterrorism division, and is ironically titled “Cross Cultural, Rapport-Based Interrogation,” – ironic because it encourages FBI agents to request that detainees in foreign or military custody be put in isolation to prolong the detainee’s fear for interrogation purposes. Isolation was a key component to many of the abusive interrogations that took place in Guantanamo, Afghanistan, and in secret CIA black sites after 9/11, in some cases causing extreme psychological trauma. This morning, we wrote to the FBI Director Robert Mueller expressing their concerns with the primer.
Cyber Update: Do or Die Time

Cyber Update: Do or Die Time

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:40pm

Cybersecurity legislation is on the Senate floor at this very moment, and critical votes could start as early as this evening. Here’s your primer on what’s at stake and how we expect things to go down.

Where are we in the process?…

The Biggest New Spying Program You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

The Biggest New Spying Program You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:18pm

Update: Since this piece was posted, the ACLU has filed FOIA requests seeking more information on data-mining by the NCTC. Read more »

What if a government spy agency had power to copy and data mine information about ordinary Americans…

Crucial Amendment Added to Cyber Bill Would Improve Federal Agency Handling of Personal Information

Crucial Amendment Added to Cyber Bill Would Improve Federal Agency Handling of Personal Information

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:11pm

Later Thursday night Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) filed an important amendment to the Senate cybersecurity legislation to begin to reign in the information the federal government collects on all of us. We don’t think about it much but the federal…

Sen. Franken To File Crucial Amendment to Cyber Bill

Sen. Franken To File Crucial Amendment to Cyber Bill

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:28pm

Last week, we gave you a quick rundown of the new privacy additions to S. 3414, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012.  Also known as the Lieberman-Collins bill, this legislation provides comprehensive cybersecurity reform. 

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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…

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…

New Senate Cyber Bill No Better Than Last Version

New Senate Cyber Bill No Better Than Last Version

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:41pm

Yesterday, Republican Senators introduced a rewrite of their cybersecurity bill, known as SECURE IT. Advocates registered their opposition to the bill last month and its CISPA-like expansion of military authority to collect sensitive information…

A Hearing on a Hearing: Rep. Peter King Prioritizes Navel Gazing

A Hearing on a Hearing: Rep. Peter King Prioritizes Navel Gazing

By Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:12pm

Yesterday Peter King (R-NY), Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, brought congressional navel gazing to a new level by holding a hearing on his past hearings that have singled out and perpetuated dangerous stereotypes about the American…

Senate Committee Releases Report On FISA Reauthorization

Senate Committee Releases Report On FISA Reauthorization

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:44pm

This past Friday, the Senate Intelligence Committee publicly released its report on S. 3276, a five year extension of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). The Committee voted 13-2 to extend the FAA-the law that legalized President Bush’s…