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Blog

We can be pretty sure that each new day will bring two things: new threats to our civil liberties, and new stories of people standing up for their rights and winning. Behind every court ruling is a person. Behind every landmark law is a movement. Read the stories and hear the voices that ground our work.

Catholic Bishops Stopped My Surgery Because I’m Transgender

Mar 21, 2019
After years of working to affirm my identity in a world where transgender people are questioned constantly about their decisions, I felt hopeful as I arrived for the surgery I had waited so long for. I was 27, and I would finally be closer to calling my body home. Since I was a kid, I’ve felt like my body didn’t match my soul. I felt uncomfortable in clothes. I felt disgusting when I showered. ... Read More

Facebook Settles Civil Rights Cases by Making Sweeping Changes to Its Online Ad Platform

Mar 19, 2019
The ACLU, along with our client Communications Workers of America and other civil rights groups, announced a historic settlement agreement with Facebook that will result in major changes to Facebook’s advertising platform. Advertisers will no longer be able to exclude users from learning about opportunities for housing, employment, or credit based on gender, age, or other protected characteristics... Read More

Documents Reveal ICE Using Driver Location Data From Local Police for Deportations

Mar 13, 2019
UPDATE: The Union City Police Department informed the ACLU that it does not operate license plate cameras and has no license plate detection data to share with ICE. Union City provided a recent sharing report and screenshots showing that ICE is not listed as a sharing partner and that Union City has not contributed “detections” data to the LEARN database. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcemen... Read More

There Is No ‘National Emergency’ at the Border, and Trump’s Declaration Is Illegal

Feb 15, 2019
After more than a month of threats, a government shutdown, and bipartisan action by Congress, President Trump has finally declared a national emergency to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on his border wall obsession. In response, the ACLU will file a lawsuit early next week challenging this blatantly illegal executive action. Let’s get something straight upfront: There is no emergency. Membe... Read More

Tribal Members Urge School District to Provide Transparency Around Funding

Feb 11, 2019
Over the past few years, the Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School District (KTJUSD) has become increasingly less transparent, less open to community input, and less accountable to parents, tribes, and community members. As the Executive Director of the Hoopa Tribal Education Association, I hear from frustrated parents and students almost every day. The wide range of alarming concerns tribal member... Read More

New Bill Limits When California Police Can Use Deadly Force

Feb 08, 2019
As a nation, we must address the brutal reality and deadly consequences of police violence. We have seen far too many people, particularly Black and brown people, killed by police. We have seen too many families and communities shattered by loss and tragedy. Enough is enough. We must limit when police officers can use deadly force and take someone’s life. Read More

Amazon, Google, and Microsoft Are at Odds on the Dangers of Face Recognition. One of Them Is on the Right Path.

Jan 25, 2019
A top Google executive recently sent a shot across the bow of its competitors regarding face surveillance. Kent Walker, the company's general counsel and senior vice president of global affairs, made it clear that Google — unlike Amazon and Microsoft — will not sell a face recognition product until the technology's potential for abuse is addressed. Face recognition, powered by artificial intell... Read More

On the 46th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Fight for Abortion Access Continues

Jan 18, 2019
Since the U.S. Supreme Court issued the landmark decision affirming the constitutional right to an abortion in Roe v. Wade, we’ve seen states pass over one thousand restrictions that make it harder for women to have an abortion. In just the first six months of 2018, 11 states enacted 22 new medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion. A Kentucky lawmaker recently introduced a bill that bans abo... Read More

The FBI ‘Can Neither Confirm nor Deny’ That It Monitors Your Social Media Posts

Jan 17, 2019
In recent years, the federal government has significantly ramped up its efforts to monitor people on social media. The FBI, for one, has repeatedly acknowledged that it engages in surveillance of social media posts. So it was surprising when the bureau responded to our Freedom of Information Act request on this kind of surveillance by saying that it “can neither confirm nor deny the existence of r... Read More

A Look at Trump’s Biggest Border Lies

Jan 08, 2019
On Tuesday night, President Trump will address the nation in a primetime speech in which he’ll make his case for a 1,000-mile border wall, followed by a trip to South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley on Thursday. But Trump’s characterization of the situation on the southwest border is driven not by facts but by his own nativist agenda and political obsession with building a wall. In advance of the spee... Read More

Amazon’s Disturbing Plan to Add Face Surveillance to Your Front Door

Dec 12, 2018
Recently, a patent application from Amazon became public that seeks to pair face surveillance — like Rekognition, the product that the company is aggressively marketing to police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement — with Ring, a doorbell camera company that Amazon bought earlier this year. While the details are sketchy, the application describes a system that the police can use to match th... Read More

Secret Service Announces Test of Face Recognition System Around White House

Dec 04, 2018
In yet another step toward the normalization of facial recognition as a blanket security measure, last week the Department of Homeland Security published details of a U.S. Secret Service plan to test the use of facial recognition in and around the White House. According to the document, the Secret Service will test whether its system can identify certain volunteer staff members by scanning vide... Read More