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This Week in Civil Liberties

The text, "Week in Review."
The text, "Week in Review."
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June 17, 2011

Despite all the distractions of the week (and by distractions, we mean that weird case of possible voter fraud—let’s focus on civil liberties, people!) it was still a busy week here at the ACLU.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the day President Richard Nixon declared the “war on drugs,” a failed and unfair war that has helped make the U.S. the nation’s largest incarcerator. To mark this day, we debuted a new infographic that shows some startling statistics about America’s addiction to incarceration, a byproduct of this failed war on drugs. Check out the infographic here.

You’re Going to Need a Warrant For That, Officer
This week, companion bills in the House and Senate would require law enforcement to get a warrant based on probable cause before accessing location information, like your cell phone’s GPS location. Sounds pretty reasonable, right? So act now and tell your congressspeople to support the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act!

Surveillance Programs Must Not Be Kept Secret
Speaking of surveillance: Technology moves so fast today that surveillance programs can now become routine before the public even learns of them. That is a problem because new surveillance programs can involve difficult value judgments and tradeoffs. How valuable are those programs in actually stopping criminals? How much privacy are we willing to give up for those benefits? What kinds of checks and balances do we think are necessary?

Pregnant Women Need Health Care, Not Jail Time
As part of our month-long blog series on the war on drugs, this post describes how that war has spun out of control and now targets pregnant women struggling to overcome addiction.

MARCH on for Military Women’s Reproductive Health Care
Currently, U.S. servicewomen receive no federal coverage for abortion care in cases of rape or incest. Instead, they are forced to pay for care out of their own pockets after being raped. Fortunately, a fix to this miserable state of affairs has been introduced in Congress—the Military Access to Reproductive Care and Health (MARCH) for Military Women Act. Stand up for our servicewomen and tell your members of congress to support this crucial piece of legislation today!

This is your week in civil liberties. Let us know if this is useful or if you’d like to see changes. Share your thoughts:

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