Blog of Rights

Crop of image by Surian Soosay via Flickr

SEC Blocking Update to Electronic Privacy Laws

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:36pm
During the long, hard fight to bring the outdated Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) into the 21st century, advocates have run into the most unlikely of opponents: the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Yes, the SEC—the agency charged with regulating the securities industry—has brought the ECPA update to a screeching halt. Yesterday the ACLU, along with the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Tax Reform and the Center for Democracy and Technology, sent the agency a letter calling them out on their opposition.
Shana, Megan, and Jax

North Carolina: Let Me Take Care of My Son

By Shana Carignan at 11:25am

I live in Greensboro, North Carolina, with my family. My wife, Megan, and I flew to Texas to meet our son, Jax, over 4 years ago, who is now 6 ½. We have raised him to understand that his moms love him and would do anything for him.

But Megan…

Larry Kirschenman

As a Soldier I Defended Our Rights, Now Who Will Defend Mine?

By Larry Kirschenman at 5:10pm

For a year now, I've been asking how a 75-year-old Vietnam Vet and retired prison guard like me could wind up in the hospital after being brutally mistreated by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers.

I live in a quiet retirement community,…

Women who work full time still earn, on average, only $0.77 for ever $1 men earn

Equal Pay's Thrill of Victory and Agony of Defeat

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:14am

Four years ago, the Paycheck Fairness Act failed in the Senate. The bill, which would have helped close the pay gap between men and women by updating the Equal Pay Act of 1963, had majority support. But because a few senators blocked…

Lennie Gerber and Pearl Berlin - Plantiffs

What North Carolina's Refusal to Recognize the Marriages of Same Sex Couples Really Means

By Rose Saxe, AIDS Project at 2:26pm

Think of what it would mean for someone who has been with their partner for decades to face losing a spouse, while the state...

Status of Location Privacy Legislation in the States

Status of Location Privacy Legislation in the States

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 12:00am

In the wake of the NSA revelations, there has been an avalanche of state bills requiring law enforcement to obtain a probable cause warrant before tracking an individual’s location in an investigation. Most state legislators know they can’t control the NSA—but they can control their state and local law enforcement, which are engaging in some of the same invasive practices. The trend actually started in the wake of the ACLU’s nationwide public records requests on location tracking and the 2012 U.S. v. Jones decision, when Montana and Maine enacted the first two location tracking laws in the country—the recent revelations have simply increased the momentum.

Working closely with our lobbyists in state capitols around the country, we’ve been tracking this activity and working hard to make sure these privacy-protective bills become law. The chart below shows the current status of state legislation as we understand it. We will keep this chart up-to-date as we receive new information.

"Hope" Triumphs over Abuse and Housing Discrimination

"Hope" Triumphs over Abuse and Housing Discrimination

By Ramya Sekaran, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 12:54pm

Imagine you endure abuse in your own home, and are finally able to flee. You want to keep your children safe, and you are ready to start a new life. But your abuser continues to stalk you. You finally find a safe and affordable place to live.

But…

Photography Businesses Don’t Have a First Amendment Right to Discriminate

Photography Businesses Don’t Have a First Amendment Right to Discriminate

By Joshua Block, LGBT Project at 10:14am

Today the Supreme Court turned away a photography business's claim that it had a First Amendment right to break New Mexico public accommodations law and discriminate against gay customers.

No court has ever held that a business has a First…

Equal Pay by the Numbers

Equal Pay by the Numbers

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:02pm

Over fifty after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Senate is poised to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a much needed update to this law. While the Equal Pay Act was a historic piece of legislation that finally acknowledged that women…

Crop of image by David D/C via Flickr

Have We Become a “Surveillance State”? A Five-Part Test

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:14am

At a panel in Toronto recently I was asked whether I thought the United States had become a “surveillance state.” How to answer that question? At first glance it’s an impossibly fuzzy question, the answer to which is relative depending on whether…