Blog of Rights

Crop of photo by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

To Protect Privacy, Utah Attorney General Gives Away Some of His Power

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 6:10pm
In February 2014, the attorney general for the state of Utah did something remarkable, something that law enforcement officials hardly ever do: He willingly gave away some of his power. The power was too great, he said, and the potential for abuse too serious. Furthermore, the AG argued, the broad, unaccountable power was not needed to protect the public.
Edward Snowden to Talk Privacy With the Tech Community at SXSW

Edward Snowden to Talk Privacy With the Tech Community at SXSW

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 9:49am

In his first conversation in front of an audience since his disclosures began making global headlines last year, Edward Snowden will appear via live video next Monday at SXSW Interactive, the festival that brings together tens of thousands of technology…

Time for the Feds to Step In: Illegal and Abusive Debt Collection Threatens to Exacerbate Racial Inequality

Time for the Feds to Step In: Illegal and Abusive Debt Collection Threatens to Exacerbate Racial Inequality

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:12pm

In 2012, a pregnant woman in Colorado was arrested and jailed after being pulled over for a traffic violation. The reason? A debt collector went to court for a warrant for her arrest—not because she committed any crime, but because she apparently…

Death Without Due Process

Death Without Due Process

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 11:37am

This post was originally published by The Philadelphia Inquirer. On Wednesday, Hina Shamsi will take part in an Intelligence Squared debate on the question "Does the president have constitutional authority under the due process clause to kill U.S.…

On the Agenda: March 3-7

On the Agenda: March 3-7

By Meghan Groob, Media Relations Associate, ACLU at 10:07am

So have you finished House of Cards yet? If you're like most of us here in the Washington Legislative Office, you probably binge watched the whole season in one weekend. But we understand that some of you may have lives and may have needed a couple…

Modification of image by rachaelvoorhees via Flickr

Police Hide Use of Cell Phone Tracker From Courts Because Manufacturer Asked

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 9:01am

It appears that at least one police department in Florida has failed to tell judges about its use of a cell phone tracking device because the department got the device on loan and promised the manufacturer to keep it all under wraps. But when police…

This Week in Civil Liberties (02/28/2014)

This Week in Civil Liberties (02/28/2014)

By Rekha Arulanantham, ACLU at 4:54pm

The police department of what U.S. city created a list "400 most dangerous people," not based on crimes they had committed, but on historic crime information, disturbance calls, suspicions reports, and social network analysis?

Residents of…

Janet Mock, author and trans activist

A Conversation With Trans Rights Activist Janet Mock

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU & Keely Mullen at 4:10pm

In a 2011 Marie Claire article, successful People.com editor Janet Mock, publicly told her story about growing up transgender. Though at the time she had only shared her transgender identity with a few people in New York, "stories about kids who have…

President Barack Obama

What Does It Take To Truly Be "My Brother's Keeper"

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 3:38pm

A year ago, Kyle Thompson a young, Black, freshman was led away from his school in handcuffs and ultimately expelled from school. His offense? Mistakenly thinking that his teacher's attempt to take a note for him was a joke and playfully trying to…

In South Dakota, The Wolf Has Lost Its Clothes

In South Dakota, The Wolf Has Lost Its Clothes

By Shivana Jorawar, Esq., National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum at 2:32pm

Next week, the South Dakota legislature is expected to pass HB 1162, a bill that stereotypes Asian immigrants and restricts access to abortion. Supporters of the measure are using racially inflammatory language, invoking nativism and warning of the…