Jay Stanley,
Senior Policy Analyst,
ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project
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April 23, 2012

Today the ACLU launches Free Future, a new blog dedicated to protecting civil liberties in the digital age. We hope to make it a vigorous forum for the daily exploration of issues related to technology – in particular, how we can ensure that individual freedom, control, and self-determination are enhanced rather than compromised by new advances in science and technology. We want a free future.

The blog will feature a range of forward-looking technology issues. On the privacy side, these might range from government surveillance to internet advertising, from drones to DNA, from biometrics to cybersecurity. It will also feature free expression issues – for example, network neutrality, content filtering, or photographers’ rights.

The blog will be written by me and by my colleagues at the ACLU who work on these issues. The ACLU is uniquely positioned to illuminate these issues at a national and local level: we have eyes and ears in every state in the union, so we often learn about – and can blog about – technology policy issues that have not yet garnered national attention.

I’ve worked at the ACLU for over 10 years, and during that time I’ve seen the consistently amazing work that my colleagues produce, and how the vast majority of it reaches only a small audience – perhaps a judge, or some congressional staff, or a room full of people at an ACLU meeting in Montana or Connecticut or Arizona. It’s kind of like that urban legend about how we only use five percent of our brainpower: if we can channel even a fraction more of the ACLU staff’s thinking, writing, and experience into this blog, we can produce a lot of fascinating material.

We also plan to feature guest bloggers from time to time – and not necessarily just those with whom we agree. We’d like to make this blog a place where a diverse range of thinkers and advocates can hash out the complex legal and policy issues presented by new technologies. Some of these debates will be contentious, and we won’t pull punches. But we want this to be a forum for deeper discussion, not another platform for talking points. And we want to have some fun.

That’s the vision for this blog. We hope you’ll bookmark it, and we invite you to join the discussion by commenting or even contributing. Here’s to a free future.