Washington Markup

Selective Leaks Worst of All Worlds for Free Speech

Selective Leaks Worst of All Worlds for Free Speech

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:21pm
As the election summer heats up, Republicans in Congress are making hay with what they claim are selective leaks by the Obama administration, designed to bolster the president’s national security cred. At a Senate Judiciary hearing yesterday, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) went so far as to call for Attorney General Holder’s resignation in part because of the leak issue. While the jury is decidedly out on the merits of these claims, these questions do need to be asked. If there is one thing more dangerous than over-classification of government information, it’s selective declassification for political gain.
Members of Congress Urge Investigation of FBI Muslim Surveillance

Members of Congress Urge Investigation of FBI Muslim Surveillance

By Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:37am

Yesterday 22 Members of Congress sent a letter to the Inspector General of the Department of Justice urging him to launch an investigation into the Federal Bureau of Investigation's improper recording and dissemination of information about the First…

Manufacturing a “Black Separatist” Threat and Other Dubious Claims: Bias in Newly Released FBI Terrorism Training Materials

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:31pm

In a throwback to the J. Edgar Hoover-era COINTELPRO investigations targeting civil rights and anti-war activists, the FBI is now training its agents to be on the lookout for "Black Separatist" terrorists, according to FBI training materials released today by the ACLU. These new disclosures, obtained through Freedom of Information Act litigation, are the latest in a growing flood of FBI training materials that include factually flawed and biased information.

FISA Amendments Act is Back

FISA Amendments Act is Back

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:28am

Remember the George W. Bush warrantless wiretapping program? The one that was so illegal that Congress had to pass a special law to ensure that no one was prosecuted for it or sued by their customers for facilitating it? And was found by independent…

36 Hours Left! Tell Congress to Pass the Smith-Amash Amendment to the NDAA

36 Hours Left! Tell Congress to Pass the Smith-Amash Amendment to the NDAA

By Chris Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:26am

The amendment makes clear that the U.S. is off-limits to indefinite military detention and that military commissions cannot be used for civilians in the United States.

More Anti-Muslim Training Materials Uncovered

More Anti-Muslim Training Materials Uncovered

By Devon Chaffee, Legislative Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 7:16pm

This morning, Danger Room’s Spencer Ackerman continued to shock readers by exposing some of the most vehemently anti-Muslim training documents used by the U.S. government that have come to light to date. (See our past analysis of biased FBI materials.)…

House of Representatives Passes Privacy-Busting CISPA

House of Representatives Passes Privacy-Busting CISPA

By Ateqah Khaki at 6:33pm

CISPA is a dangerously overbroad bill that would allow companies to share our private and sensitive information with the government without a warrant and without proper oversight.

Cyber Protection Act Too Broad, Infringes on Our Privacy Rights

Cyber Protection Act Too Broad, Infringes on Our Privacy Rights

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:12am

This week is “Cybersecurity Week” in the House of Representatives, and members will vote on a handful of bills intended to protect cybersecurity — the ability to prevent and respond to threats from foreign governments, terrorists…

In Advance of CISPA Vote, Congress Needs to Hear From You

In Advance of CISPA Vote, Congress Needs to Hear From You

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:53pm

Call your representatives today and urge them not to sacrifice the civil liberties of Internet users in any cybersecurity legislation.

CISPA: It Ain't Cyber-Pretty

CISPA: It Ain't Cyber-Pretty

By Zachary Katznelson, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 12:38pm

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives is scheduled to begin debating the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, authored by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.). In the name of cybersecurity, the legislation threatens…