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This Week in Civil Liberties

The text, "Week in Review."
The text, "Week in Review."
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May 13, 2011

This week, lots of government spying, tracking and other abuses of your civil liberties:

FBI: If We Told You, You Might Sue
Often when the government tries to suppress information about its surveillance programs, it cites national security concerns. But not always. Sometimes, it just doesn’t want to be sued. Part I and Part II

When Is Enough Enough? Government Surveillance Skyrockets in 2010.
Just when you thought they couldn’t find one more minute to surveil: The Department of Justice released its annual report, and boy were they busy.

Yes, You’re Being Tracked. It’s Time to Do Something About It
In light of the recent disclosures about iPhone and Android location tracking, Sen. Al Franken and the Senate Judiciary Committee took the very welcome step of shedding light on privacy and smart phones with a hearing.

Suspicionless Searches and Seizures at the Airport: We’re Suing
Whether you’re a member of the ACLU, the Tea Party, or the Beer Lovers Party, one of the things that distinguishes you from people living in more authoritarian regimes is your right to form political associations without fear of government reprisal. Or is it?

Unchecked Executive War Power Could Slip Through the House
Tucked inside the National Defense Authorization Act, being marked up by the House Armed Services Committee this week, is a hugely important provision that hasn’t been getting a lot of attention — a brand new authorization for a worldwide war.

75 Years Queer – Another Win
A response to a New York Times op-ed about the ACLU’s work on behalf of LGBT Americans.

U.S. Attorneys Send Mixed Signals
Despite a 2009 Justice Department memo instructing U.S. Attorneys not to prioritize the prosecution of people complying with state medical marijuana laws, federal prosecutors in recent weeks have issued letters in a handful of states threatening to do just that. We sent a letter this week to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding a clarification.

Confederate Flag at Louisiana Courthouse Taints Death Penalty System With Racial Bias
Anna Arceneaux of the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project argued before the Louisiana Supreme Court that the confederate flag outside the Caddo County Courthouse in Shreveport injects inherent racial bias into all court proceedings and is especially damaging in death penalty cases.

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