Blog of Rights

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 to a group identity? Whether there are "ideologues" within an American community or what its level of "cohesiveness" is? These and other deeply invasive and problematic questions are being considered as part of the government's strategy for "countering violent extremism." That strategy has been targeted at Muslims, at home and abroad.
The Obama Administration's 2 Faces on Releasing Evidence of U.S. Prisoner Abuse

The Obama Administration's 2 Faces on Releasing Evidence of U.S. Prisoner Abuse

By Josh Bell, Media Strategist, ACLU at 10:00am

There is too often a gap between the Obama administration's words and deeds when it comes to transparency on national security issues. Take, for example, whether the government should release information about the abuse of prisoners in U.S. custody.

In…

Myriad Genetics Relents on Gene Patents, But Will the Patent Office Stop Issuing Patents on Products of Nature?

Myriad Genetics Relents on Gene Patents, But Will the Patent Office Stop Issuing Patents on Products of Nature?

By Sandra S. Park, Staff Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 1:59pm

It looks like the courts have finally put an end to Myriad Genetics' attempts to monopolize our genes.

Following decisions striking down its gene patents from the U.S. Supreme Court, a Utah federal district court, and a federal court of appeals,…

Annotated: Obama’s Proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against ISIS

Annotated: Obama’s Proposed Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against ISIS

By Zak Newman, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:05pm

President Obama just sent Congress his proposed legislation to authorize his use of military force against ISIS. An Authorization for the Use of Military Force against the group is long overdue given that the president has been conducting airstrikes…

Thanks to President Obama, My American Dream Won't Become a Nightmare

Thanks to President Obama, My American Dream Won't Become a Nightmare

By Anita Shalwani at 11:03am

This is my family's American Dream story. I am a divorced, single mother, and an undocumented immigrant. I have resided in the United States for almost 30 years.

We came from Pakistan, a country known for its government abuse, torture, and…

ACLU to UN: Encryption is Not A Problem to be Solved, But a Crucial Tool For Freedom and Security

ACLU to UN: Encryption is Not A Problem to be Solved, But a Crucial Tool For Freedom and Security

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 10:56am

A few weeks ago, a U.N. Special Rapporteur solicited comments for a report on the relationship between free expression and the use of encryption and anonymity online. The report that he is writing will be submitted to the Human Rights Council in June…

Would You Like Some (More) Sexism With That?

Would You Like Some (More) Sexism With That?

By Galen Sherwin, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 2:36pm

There's been a great deal of interest in the case I blogged about last week, in which Angela Ames, a Nationwide Insurance worker alleged that she was denied a place to pump breast milk when she returned to work from maternity leave, and then was forced…

Photo of interior of car

Et Tu, Detroit?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:35pm

Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.) has again obtained and released information about the privacy practices of private companies in a sensitive area, this time in the form of a report on the practices of automobile manufacturers.

According to the…

This Prisoner's Note Isn't From Some Dystopian Dictatorship. It's From Texas.

This Prisoner's Note Isn't From Some Dystopian Dictatorship. It's From Texas.

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project at 3:20pm

Every day from dusk to dawn there's noise, banging, clanking, yelling, screaming. Everyday someone is getting hurt or hurting themselves. Everyday there's fire and floods and complete chaos & hate…Every day is a challenge here. A challenge…

Heterosexuals Only: Sign of the Times?

Heterosexuals Only: Sign of the Times?

By Louise Melling, Director, Center of Liberty; Deputy Legal Director, ACLU at 11:13am

The Associated Press published a poll yesterday that reported many Americans say it's okay for wedding-related businesses to refuse to provide service to same-sex couples based on religious views.

Ouch. That amounts, in essence, to blessing…