March 6, 2019

Breaking: The NSA is no longer using the phone metadata program. It’s time for Congress to end it once and for all.

For years we’ve said that the NSA’s mass surveillance program that collects our phone metadata under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act is unconstitutional, unnecessary, and should be ended. Now it seems that the NSA agrees with us (at least on those last two points).
February 26, 2019
Brian Hofer

ALPR Incorrectly Snags Privacy Activist.

Defending Rights & Dissent and the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights are civil liberties groups with a long history of standing up for the right to engage in political expression.
February 13, 2019

Day of Action Against More Border Surveillance

DRAD and allies delivered thousands of signatures to Speaker Pelosi warning against providing funds for more surveillance technology at the border.
February 6, 2019
massive tower of surveillance equipment

Groups Warn Dems Against “Smart” Border Wall

Open letter signed by groups from across the political spectrum opposes Democrat’s proposal for increased surveillance tech at the border.
December 24, 2018
Video surveillance cameras for monitoring on streets

Congress, Police, Protesters and Surveillance

Police zeal to embrace military-grade hardware is unprecedented, and the deployment of surveillance technology on the public often occurs with little public debate or warning.
September 25, 2018
seal of the Dept. of Treasury shows a key and scales of justice for some reason

Dangerous New Bill Would Expand the Patriot Act

The bill, known as the Empowering Financial Institutions to Fight Human Trafficking Act of 2018 (HR6729) has two very big problems.
September 12, 2018
protesters march down the street with anti pipeline signs

State Bureau of Investigation unit prepared “threat assessment” of Atlantic Coast Pipeline protestors

The state’s surveillance and counter-terrorism unit, the Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAAC), warned law enforcement officials that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline could attract “violent extremists” who are opposed to the natural gas project in North Carolina, a document obtained by Policy Watch shows.
September 10, 2018
concept art of Data transfer over a map of the world

Why Are 31 US Civil Society & Tech Orgs So Concerned About an Australian Anti-Encryption Draft Bill?

The drafters of this bill sprinkled-in some pro-encryption language, but that doesn’t mask the fact that, if enacted, it would seriously threaten everyone’s digital security by allowing the Australian government to demand that companies redesign their secure products to facilitate surveillance.
August 30, 2018

We’ve Been Without PCLOB Since Before Trump Took Office. That Is A Problem

Members of the 9/11 Commission were smart enough to understand that federal counterterrorism programs would threaten privacy and civil liberties, so they recommended the creation of a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) to review those programs to ensure they include safeguards to protect privacy and civil liberties. It's been inoperative since January 2017.
August 17, 2018

Stop Spying

We’re working to stop spying by pushing for policy fixes at the national and local that put serious limits on government invasions of privacy.   From undercover cops infiltrating activists groups on the local level to the NSA’s mass surveillance
July 23, 2018

Color of Surveillance Delegation Takes DC By Storm, Demands Transparency and Accountability on Government Surveillance Aimed at Communities of Color

Community leaders from around the country participated in lobby visits, a Congressional briefing, and a full day conference at Georgetown Law last week as part of the Color of Surveillance delegation organized by the Center for Media Justice.
July 13, 2018
Broken Smartphone with a smashed screen on a white background

DEA Finds a New Way Around Encryption: Planting Spy Phones With Suspects, Raising Concerns About Privacy, Security, and Free Expression

“Putting a smartphone whose security has been compromised into circulation could create privacy and security risks for anyone who ultimately uses that device and jeopardize free expression,” said Sarah St.Vincent, researcher on US surveillance and domestic law enforcement at Human Rights Watch.
June 8, 2018
NYPD Officer

Civil Rights, Community Groups Welcome NYPD Spying Report

This was Judge Robinson’s first public report on NYPD compliance with the revised Handschu Guidelines, negotiated to settle legal claims in Raza v. City of New York and Handschu v. Special Services Division, and limiting surveillance of religious and political activity.
June 7, 2018
j edgar hoover FBI Building

FBI, Jeff Sessions, Used Misleading Statistics to Drum Up Fear About Encryption

Defending Rights and Dissent has joined a coalition of 20 other civil liberties organizations in demanding that the Justice Department Inspector General review how the incorrect figure of 7,800 unlockable devices originally came to be. The coalition of groups is also pushing for an investigation into why Justice Department officials and Attorney General Jeff Sessions continued to cite this statistic even after it was discovered that the FBI had made an error in their calculations.
May 29, 2018

Rekognize the New Threat

Rekognition promises to “perform real-time recognition of persons of interest from camera livestreams against your private database of face metadata.”  In plain English, that means it can identify people in real time.