Blog of Rights

"Vitruvian Man" by Leonardo da Vinci (modified by Jay Stanley)

A Tour of the TSA’s Testing Facility

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:04am
Last week I was given a tour of the “TSA Systems Integration Facility” (TSIF), the agency’s testing facility located at Reagan National Airport here in Washington, in some outlying buildings that used to house the airport’s post office facility. The tour included the opportunity to talk to some of the specialists who work there. We were shown technologies that are already familiar; there was nothing on some of the more ridiculous screening programs such as SPOT or FAST, nor anything futuristic. But I did pick up some items of possible interest to those curious about the functioning of our airport security technology—including passengers with disabilities or who face special scrutiny, such as Sikhs, who are nearly always forced to undergo extra screening because of the turbans that Sikh men wear. (The tour was arranged by TSA’s office of Civil Rights and Liberties.)
Author Shoshana Hebshi

Two And A Half Years After Being Racially Profiled, A First Victory

By Shoshana Hebshi, ACLU Plaintiff at 12:29pm

More than two years ago, on September 11, 2011, I was stuck on a grounded airplane in Detroit. At first I thought we were just waiting for our gate to clear, but then our plane taxied to an isolated part of the tarmac. Police vehicles appeared, and…

Crop of image by afagen via Flickr

Dear Mr. President: Walk the Walk on Big Data

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:28pm

In the wake of the NSA scandals and daily corporate privacy invasions, the president asked one of his senior advisors, John Podesta, to perform a quick 90-day review of “big data” (corporate jargon for privacy) and lay out what next steps his administration…

J. Edgar Hoover, 1961, photo by Marion S. Trikosko from LOC/wikipedia

How State Secrecy Protects Government Agencies From Embarrassment, Then And Now

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 10:12am

Often when the government wants to keep something secret, it claims that transparency would endanger national security. We’ve been hearing a lot of this lately with regards to Edward Snowden. The leaks have caused “grave harm” to national security…

On the Agenda: Blog Series

On the Agenda: March 31-April 4

By Meghan Groob, Media Relations Associate, ACLU at 9:56am

It's the best time of year, folks: March Madness. Even though it's almost April, March Madness still consumes offices across the country as we move onto the Final Four. Whether you're a diehard Kentucky fan like me (go Cats!) or just someone who wants…

U.N. Flag

U.N. Holds U.S. Accountable for Human Rights Violations at Home and Abroad

By Astrid Reyes, ACLU Human Rights Program at 6:32pm

"The United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights," warned Jimmy Carter in a 2012 New York Times op-ed. Less than two years later, Carter's warning has been vindicated. Yesterday, the U.N. Human Rights Committee issued…

A Devastating Loss For Texas Women

A Devastating Loss For Texas Women

By Brigitte Amiri, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project at 12:13pm

Today is one of the worst days in my professional career. I have been working to defend the rights of women and families to make their own private decisions about abortion for well over a decade. There have been wins and there have been losses. But…

Privacy keyboard Photo source: g4ll4is from Flickr

Let's Lock Down the NSA's Shadow Database

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 10:07am

This is the final blog of a three-part series.

Less than a year after the NSA's dragnet surveillance of Americans was first exposed to public scrutiny, the president has formally issued a proposal to end the bulk collection of our phone records.…

Photo source: Chelsea Gomez from Flickr

Are "Two Hops" Too Many?

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 12:07pm

This is the second blog in a three-part series.

Less than a year after the NSA's dragnet surveillance of Americans was first exposed to public scrutiny, the president has formally issued a proposal to end the bulk collection of our phone records.…

Modification of image by jpstanley with map by jepoirrier via Flickr

Cell Tower Dumps: Another Surveillance Technique, Another Set of Unanswered Questions

By Katie Haas, Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 11:58am

Today, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI, the DEA, the Secret Service, and several other agencies asking for information about a surveillance technique known as a “cell tower dump.” If you’re wondering what that…