Edward's blog

Edward
The New York Times Sunday Review features a harrowing first hand account by Nicholas Peart relating his experiences as a target of the NYPD's "stop-and-frisk" policy.

In 2009, the NYPD stopped and frisked 576,394 people. Over the 3 1/2 years leading up to 2009, the NYPD initiated over 1.6 million stops of New Yorkers.

Edward
Yesterday, The Boston Globe published a remarkable feature story on the Maines family.

In October, the ACLU of Maine was very proud to honor Wayne, Kelly, Jonas and Nicole with our Roger Baldwin Award for their truly exceptional  advocacy for transgender rights.

Edward
The ACLU today released a set of “Core Legal Principles” that we believe should govern U.S. border policies – specifically, a “North American Security Perimeter” plan that the United States and Canada are expected to announce this week.

Edward
We're not talking about combatants captured on a battlefield half a world away anymore.  We're talking about giving the president the authority to imprison--indefinitely--any American on the suspicion of terrorism.  There would be no charges, no trial, no proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

If enacted, sections 1031 and 1032 of the National Defense Authorization Act would:

Edward
Paul Harris reports in The Guardian that FBI tactics are raising disturbing questions of 'entrapment':

Civil liberties groups are also concerned, seeing some FBI tactics as using terrorism to justify more power. "We are still seeing an expansion of these tools. It is a terrible prospect," said Mike German, an expert at the American Civil Liberties Union and a former FBI agent who has worked in counter-terrorism.

Edward
Last week, the ACLU wrote to the CEOs of the nation’s major cell phone providers asking that they stop routinely collecting and storing data on their customers’ daily movements.

Our cell phone companies know more about where we are throughout the day than our closest friends. One of the byproducts of the way cell phones work – staying in constant touch with the nearest cell tower – is that our carriers can tell roughly where we are.

Edward
In 2009, while hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan along the Iranian border, Sarah Shourd and two fellow hikers were abducted by Iranian border agents and falsely accused of espionage.

Shourd would be imprisoned for over a year before being released on "humanitarian grounds".  She has an exceptional op-Ed in Sunday's New York Times recounting that experience and what made it unbearable:

Edward
Our Membership and Education Organizer, Jon Gaither, has been organizing Bill of Rights conferences for high school students across the state.  In addition to learning about civil liberties and the amendments to the Constitution, students receive a Know Your Rights lesson that explains what to do if stopped by Police, Immigration Agents or the FBI.

Facing questioning by police can be intimidating so it's always a worth a reminder on what rights we have when dealing with law enforcement. 

Edward
Commemorating 10 years since the passage of the Patriot Act, the ACLU has an info graphic on the many changes to surveillance laws that made it easier for the government to spy on ordinary Americans by expanding the authority to monitor phone and email communications, collect bank and credit reporting records, and track the activity of innocent Americans on the Internet.

Edward
USA Today reported last week that the Transportation Security Administration is now rolling out an additional screening measure, a "chat down", where selected passengers will be asked pointed questions about their travel plans.

The TSA apparently believes that this is an improvement.  "It means moving further away from what may have seemed like a one-size-fits-all approach to security," says TSA Administrator John Pistole.

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