Washington Markup

Police Hunger for Drones May be Growing, but So Are Privacy Concerns

Police Hunger for Drones May be Growing, but So Are Privacy Concerns

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:06pm
The ACLU’s Chris Calabrese testified yesterday before the Senate Commerce Committee in a hearing on the economic benefits and the safety, privacy, and First Amendment implications of unmanned aerial vehicles — drones — which are poised to invade U.S. airspace by 2015. The hearing came on the same day as a front-page story in the Washington Post, describing the rapid spread of this new and powerful technology among law enforcement agencies.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein's NSA 'reforms': bad for privacy, bad for business

Sen. Dianne Feinstein's NSA 'reforms': bad for privacy, bad for business

By Nicole Ozer, Technology & Civil Liberties Policy Director, ACLU of Northern California at 2:29pm

This op-ed originally ran in the San Jose Mercury News before the tech giants released their letter to Pres. Obama and Congress urging widespread surveillance reform. In August, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington,…

From the Land of the Liberty Bell: Investigate the NSA

From the Land of the Liberty Bell: Investigate the NSA

By Andy Hoover, Legislative Director, ACLU of Pennsylvania at 12:30pm

Here in Pennsylvania, we have a full-time legislature, so as the lobbyist for the Pennsylvania affiliate of the ACLU, I have plenty of opportunities for face time with state legislators and staff. Since June, I've been hearing a similar refrain repeatedly:…

A Very Unhappy Anniversary for Low-Income Women

A Very Unhappy Anniversary for Low-Income Women

By Sarah Lipton-Lubet, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:07am

Some anniversaries just don't deserve a celebration, and today is one of them. Thirty-seven years ago today, Congress shut off Medicaid coverage for abortion care, unfairly targeting low-income women.

The Hyde Amendment, which was enacted…

One Step Closer to Extending Abortion Coverage for Peace Corps Volunteers

One Step Closer to Extending Abortion Coverage for Peace Corps Volunteers

By Elayne Weiss, Washington Legislative Office at 3:12pm

In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen nothing but attack after attack on women’s reproductive health. So in a welcomed change of direction, we finally have some terrific news to report. Today, the Senate bill that funds the Peace Corps program…

Following Historic Supreme Court Decision Striking Down DOMA, Administration Acts

Following Historic Supreme Court Decision Striking Down DOMA, Administration Acts

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:32pm

Following Wednesday's historic decision by the Supreme Court striking down the heart...

Is E-Verify Effective? Depends on How You Look at It

Is E-Verify Effective? Depends on How You Look at It

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:35pm

Yesterday the New York Times wrote about E-Verify, the system of employment verification tucked into the immigration legislation that passed the Senate later in the afternoon. As the Times notes, E-Verify is "a linchpin of the legislation… [that]…

The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Religious Liberty and LGBT Rights in Defense Bill

The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Religious Liberty and LGBT Rights in Defense Bill

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dena Sher, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:15pm

A sure sign of early summer in Washington, besides the sticky, humid air, is the House and Senate Armed Services Committees kicking off the annual process to pass the defense authorization bill – known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).…

The PATRIOT Act’s Section 215 Must be Reformed

The PATRIOT Act’s Section 215 Must be Reformed

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:16pm

The following remarks were given by Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, at Sen. Rand Paul's press conference yesterday announcing his intention to sue the government to stop NSA surveillance of Americans' communications.…

Congress Takes Much Needed Step Forward on Over-Criminalization

Congress Takes Much Needed Step Forward on Over-Criminalization

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 4:59pm

Earlier this month, a high school honors student named Kiera Wilmot was charged with felony discharge of a weapon on school property. Her crime? Creating her own science experiment.

When Kiera mixed several household chemicals together in a…