If you follow our blog then you know that Maine’s privacy laws are among the best in the country. Earlier this year we led the successful effort requiring law enforcement in Maine to get a warrant before accessing data created on or generated by your cellphone.
Each Friday, we’ll bring you updates on the latest civil liberties news from Maine and the nation.
Long Live the Spirit of Nelson Mandela
Our flags are flying at half staff until sunset Monday in honor of Nelson Mandela, the revered international symbol of freedom, who passed away on December 5th. In the words of ACLU director Anthony Romero,
Today, the ACLU of Maineis joining a nationwide day of action calling for reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the federal law that says the government can access your email and documents in the cloud without a warrant.
According to shocking new ACLU report titled A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Non Violent Offenses there are 3,278 prisoners serving sentences of life without possibility of parole for non-violent crimes. These crimes include carrying drugs for an abusive boyfriend, stealing tools from a toolshed and stealing a $159 dollar jacket. We are locking up a record number of people – many of which will never see outside a prisons walls again - at a huge financial and human cost.
The front page of today’s New York Times featured an excellent article titled “Seeing the Toll, Schools Revise Zero Tolerance.” It spoke to a growing movement by school administrators in big cities to reconsider "zero-tolerance" policies and other "tough on crime" approaches in light of the effects that they are having on today's young people.
Last week we signed on to an open letter to Gov. LePage, urging him to ensure that Maine’s policies regarding pregnant women and newborns are informed by science, and that they do not inadvertently endanger the health of babies.
Four months ago, the New York Times published a startling article on the sharp increase in heroin use across New England and the tragic consequences that have accompanied it. Last year, heroin killed 21 Mainers, three times as many as 2011. Across the state, many more are battling their addiction, at risk of transmission of blood-borne diseases such as HIV (in 2009, nearly a third of Maine women living with HIV reported injecting drugs) and hepatitis C and facing cr