Indiana's voter-purging software removes voters without notice, is wrong 99% of the time

The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program identifies possible duplicate voters by looking at registrations by people with the same name and birthdate; a joint study by researchers at Harvard, Yale, and Microsoft found that 99% of the people it identifies as duplicate voters are not duplicate voters -- that is, it has a 99% false positive rate. Read the rest

"Drug Recognition Experts" mistake sobriety for drug use

The Cobb County Police department has trained a number of its officers to be "Drug Recognition Experts." Apparently this training allows them to declare people under the influence without any actual proof. The ACLU is suing on behalf of several non-marijuana using victims.

Via the ACLU of Georgia:

The Cobb County Police Department has embraced the so-called “Drug Recognition Expert” (DRE) program, a program used nationwide but has never been independently and rigorously validated. The protocol requires officers to perform medical examinations to detect drug influence without having relevant medical training, and it leads officers to believe that they have a special ability to detect marijuana use without concrete evidence.

“The people of Cobb County should be outraged that their police department wasted scarce resources harassing and jailing innocent people,” said Sean J. Young, legal director of the ACLU of Georgia. “The Cobb County Police Department needs to be held accountable for these flagrant violations of constitutional rights.”

The lawsuit, filed today in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, seeks to vindicate the plaintiffs’ Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful seizures and obtain compensatory and punitive damages.

Read the rest

EFF and ACLU sue Trump administration over warrantless border device searches

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and American Civil Liberties just filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security on behalf of 11 travellers whose devices were searched at the US border; they assert that warrantless device searches violate the constitutional restriction on searches without probable cause. Read the rest

Watch this lovely primer on America's transgender rights movement since the 1960s

The American Civil Liberties Union has released a brief overview of the transgender rights movement, focusing on the 1960s and 1970s, beautifully illustrated by Molly Crabapple. Read the rest

"Fuck Trump" and "Immigrant" hats benefit ACLU

My friend Gabe created these fun "Fuck Trump" and "Immigrant" hats! All profits go to the American Civil Liberties Union! Gabe says:

On a personal note, making these hats has been a profound and grounding exercise in connecting with others from across the world that I would not have connected with otherwise. I know that the issues we face are complex and that Trump represents much greater forces than just him alone. I also know that this is but a small way to make a difference, but I do believe that it's important to express our dissent and let people know where we stand; that we will not be bullied by him or his supporters.

(And yes, that's Helena Christensen rocking the "Immigrant" hat below.)

Buy "Fuck Trump" and "Immigrant" hats

And follow Fuck Trump on Instagram!

Read the rest

In Rhode Island, students and parents must let schools spy on them day and night through their laptops

A majority of the Rhode Island school districts with "1-1" programs where each student is issued a laptop have a blanket policy of spying on the students and everything they do on their laptops, during, before and after school hours, on or off school premises, without any evidence (or even suspicion ) of wrongdoing. Read the rest

Should police be able to access your cellphone location history without a warrant? Supreme Court to decide.

The U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to hear an important digital privacy rights case that will determine if police have to get a warrant to access your cellphone location data, which is archived by wireless carriers.

Read the rest

Seattle: Death Cab for Cutie and The Decemberists benefit for ACLU and Planned Parenthood

On June 9 in Seattle, our pals in Death Cab for Cutie are joining The Decemberists and Sera Cahoone for a benefit concert at the Paramount Theatre with all proceeds going to the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) and Planned Parenthood. Tickets go on sale Friday (5/12) at 10am PT.

“We as Death Cab For Cutie are appalled by the divisive, xenophobic and misogynistic agenda the Trump Administration is attempting to implement in our country," says Ben Gibbard. "We are proud to be joining our friends The Decemberists and Sera Cahoone in support of both the ACLU and Planned Parenthood at this pivotal time in our nation's history."

Buy tickets. Read the rest

The Humble Freedom Bundle: pay $30 or more, benefit charities fighting the #muslimban, get a preview of Wil Wheaton reading WALKAWAY

The Humble Freedom Bundle will take $30 or more and in return give you more than 50 games, ebooks audiobooks and comics, including two never-before-heard audiobook titles from me: a newly mastered edition of the audiobook of my book on copyright, the internet and artistic integrity, Information Doesn't Want to be Free, featuring both Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer reading their introductions; and, the first 18 minutes of the forthcoming audiobook of my novel Walkaway, read by Wil Wheaton (the full book also features many other fine readers, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Amber Benson and Amanda Palmer from the Dresden Dolls). Read the rest

Internal TSA files reveal that they have no evidence the $1B "behavioral detection" program works

In 2013, the TSA blew $1B on "behavioral detection," which would allegedly train agents to spot potential terrorists by looking for a hilariously stupid list of "tells" including "a bobbing adam's apple," "arriving late," "trembling," "yawning," "excessive throat clearing," "improper attire," "gazing down," and "wide open staring eyes," Also: "being in disguise." Read the rest

Make: a $5 ACLU-donation Dash button you can press every time Trump makes you angry

Nathan writes, "Wanting a more immediate and responsive way to do something about the outrage a friend and I felt every time we read about the latest assaults on civil liberties, I built an Amazon Dash button that sends $5 to the ACLU every time I press it. Repurposing the technology to do good, not just buy goods." Read the rest

After record-breaking donations and members, ACLU signs up for the Y Combinator startup accelerator

The ACLU raised $24M over the weekend of the #muslimban, six times its usual annual average, and now it is joining the Winter 2017 class at Y Combinator, a startup accelerator that has emerged a mixed bag of great and terrible companies, which has had to contend with controversy over its ties to Peter Thiel. Read the rest

Jen Wang is selling original art from our graphic novel IN REAL LIFE to benefit ACLU and CAIR

Jen Wang, the incredible comics creator who adapted my award-winning story Anda's Game for the bestselling graphic novel In Real Life is selling original, 9" x 12" art from the book, and the painting above these words, for $250 each -- all proceeds divided equally between the American Civil Liberties Union and the Council on American Islamic Relations. Read the rest

Flying into the USA? Here's two ways you can help EFF and ACLU fight the #muslimban

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is seeking first-hand reports of travellers being asked to divulge their social media habits by US border guards (beyond the optional field on the ESTA form) (email info@eff.org); meanwhile, ACLU urges travellers to stay on the customs/immigration side and let them know if people are being detained (Tweet @nobanjfk). Read the rest

US towns that pandered to anti-immigrant sentiment had to raise taxes and borrow to cover the millions in losses

The US is a nation of laws, not men, and that means that unconstituional actions by lawmakers end up being struck down by judges -- so when populist leaders of small towns come to power by promising racist legislation to harass "illegals," everybody loses. Read the rest

The Remains of the Day... Every Day: Texas's batshit abortion law

Welcome to another edition of “Mystery No Science Theatre 3000.” In this episode, the Texas Department of State Health Services, (a place where medical evidence is given the same weight as the results of a Magic 8 ball) has approved a regulation that requires burials for ALL fetal tissue that comes from a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or an abortion performed at a Texas healthcare facility.

After ACLU investigation, Twitter blocks US surveillance "fusion centers" from monitoring tool

The ACLU of Northern California recently published a leaked email showing that Dataminr -- a Twitter-monitoring company partially owned by Twitter itself -- was selling access to US domestic surveillance "fusion centers" where local, state and federal agencies pool resources to spy on their targets. Read the rest

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