Washington Markup

Who Controls Your Texts?

Who Controls Your Texts?

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:58pm
Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee overwhelmingly approved with bipartisan support a sweeping update to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The bill would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant to access all electronic communications, including email, Facebook posts, photos and cell phone communications. It was a long-fought battle and a huge step forward in updating our privacy laws.
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.

Get Ready for A Scintillating Discussion on the Finer Points of IP and Foreign Trade Policy

Get Ready for A Scintillating Discussion on the Finer Points of IP and Foreign Trade Policy

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:34pm

So, Wednesday, I’ll be participating in an “Ask Me Anything,” or AMA, discussion on Reddit.  It amazes me that folks are even interested, but the topic will be the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (“TPP”). 

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). …

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…

Government’s “Anti-leak” Measures Attack Privacy and the Press

Government’s “Anti-leak” Measures Attack Privacy and the Press

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:16pm

Although the conflict between government classification rules and practices and the First Amendment rights necessary to promote a free and open society is nothing new, recent developments may indicate an alarming shift away from basic First Amendment…

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…

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…