Blog of Rights

Who Did the NSA's Illegal Spying Put in Jail?

Who Did the NSA's Illegal Spying Put in Jail?

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:53am
Last week, the ACLU joined a constitutional challenge to the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA), the statute that allows the NSA to engage in dragnet surveillance of Americans' international phone calls and emails. With the Federal Defenders Office, we filed a motion on behalf of Jamshid Muhtorov, the first criminal defendant to receive notice that he had been monitored under this controversial spying law. But Mr. Muhtorov received this notice only after the Department of Justice (DOJ) abandoned its previous policy of concealing FAA surveillance in criminal cases — a policy that violated both the statute itself and defendants' due process rights.
U.S. Admits Modern-Day Slavery Exists at Home

U.S. Admits Modern-Day Slavery Exists at Home

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 1:08pm

Some of America's most vulnerable workers are victims of modern-day slavery, and the government knows it. What's worse: These workers are protecting U.S. military and economic interests – but the U.S. isn't protecting them.

In its annual…

Will White House Violent Extremism Summit Address Pressing Civil Rights Concerns?

Will White House Violent Extremism Summit Address Pressing Civil Rights Concerns?

By Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 4:51pm

Should the federal government task teachers, religious leaders, and mental health professionals with rating and reporting to law enforcement about the strength of a family's parent-child bond? A child's involvement in religious activities or his connection…

Photo of a police traffic stop

Police Officer Discretion in the Use of Body Worn Cameras

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:30pm

In our October 2013 policy white paper on police body cameras, we struggled with how to ensure that the cameras would serve as an effective oversight mechanism for police while not unduly invading privacy. We pointed out that purely from an oversight…

There Is No Police Exception to the Americans With Disabilities Act

There Is No Police Exception to the Americans With Disabilities Act

By Susan Mizner, Disability Counsel, ACLU at 4:47pm

Many people recognize the names Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice, African-American men, and a child, killed by the police.

Less well known are the names Milton Hall, James Boyd, Ezell Ford, Kajieme Powell, and Tanisha Anderson.

They…

Shouldn't You Be Able To See the Secret Surveillance Orders That Could Put You in Prison?

Shouldn't You Be Able To See the Secret Surveillance Orders That Could Put You in Prison?

By Ashley Gorski, Nadine Strossen Fellow, National Security Project, ACLU at 3:23pm

The Supreme Court is set to decide tomorrow whether it will hear a case concerning criminal defendants' right to see surveillance applications approved by the secret FISA court. The case, United States v. Daoud, has broad implications for the constitutional…

Modification of image by Joe King via Flickr

Status of 2014 Domestic Drone Legislation in the States

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 10:32am

Updated 6/30/14

Since last year, surveillance drones have been the subject of fierce debate both among legislators and the public, giving rise to an impressive amount of legislation—proposed and enacted—to protect individuals’ privacy.

Working…

No One Tells Mamma to "Just Go Home!"

No One Tells Mamma to "Just Go Home!"

By Galen Sherwin, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 12:12pm

Update: The ACLU and ACLU-IA filed a brief asking the whole Eighth Circuit to reconsider its decision to deny Angela her day in court, joined by eleven other women’s and employment rights organizations including: 9to5, A Better Balance, The California…

Old postcard of cars in parking lot

DEA Planned to Monitor Gun Show Attendees With License Plate Readers, New Emails Reveal

By Bennett Stein, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project & Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 6:40pm

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives collaborated on plans to monitor gun show attendees using automatic license plate readers, according to a newly disclosed DEA email obtained by the ACLU…