Washington Markup

Even Amidst a Host of Congressional Priorities, Drones Makes the Cut

Even Amidst a Host of Congressional Priorities, Drones Makes the Cut

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:00am
While Congress has been considering the idea of regulating domestic drone use for some time, yesterday kicked off the debate in earnest when Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on "The Future of Drones in America: Law Enforcement and Privacy." Considering everything the committee has on its plate right now—from immigration reform to gun regulations—the fact that the senators prioritized this hearing underscores how important and timely they believe the issue is, and how much impact drones have had on the American psyche.
With CISPA, "It's all just a little bit of history repeating..."

With CISPA, "It's all just a little bit of history repeating..."

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:48pm

The Propellerheads may have been talking about fashion trends when they sang that "to me it seems quite clear that it's all just a little bit of history repeating." But that sentiment rings loud and true today when talking about the privacy-busting…

Intel Officials Admit "Cyber Pearl Harbor" Unlikely Soon, Agree Cyber Should be Kept in Civilian Hands

Intel Officials Admit "Cyber Pearl Harbor" Unlikely Soon, Agree Cyber Should be Kept in Civilian Hands

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:27pm

Privacy protection, and the debate about whether to house information-sharing programs in a civilian or military agency, dominated three congressional hearings on cybersecurity this week.

In separate hearings Tuesday in the Senate Select Committee…

The Time is Now for Do Not Track Legislation

The Time is Now for Do Not Track Legislation

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:53pm

While our electronic privacy laws have remained stagnant, online advertising has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry. The browsing and communications habits of online users are routinely and secretly tracked as they surf the internet. Yesterday,…

CISPA Claws Back to Life

CISPA Claws Back to Life

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:54pm

It's baa-aaack.

The House cybersecurity bill that allows the National Security Agency (NSA) and the military to collect your private internet records is scheduled for an encore appearance on Wednesday. House Intelligence Committee Chairman…

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…

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). …