From ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)
Don't Let Phone Companies Off the Hook: Demanding Accountability for Warrantless Wiretapping
In early 2006, news reports uncovered another front in the effort to expand the governmentâ€™s ability to spy on Americans without evidence of any criminal activity. These reports indicated that the major phone companies, including AT&T, had cooperated with the federal government in spying on Americans without a warrant. It was revealed that the telecoms turned over to the government massive quantities of records on the telephone calls made by millions of consumers across the nation. Later we learned that included the communications not just the records.
Cheney Digs in on Legacy of Torture
Former Vice President Dick Cheney's brazenness is again on display this week as he promotes his new book In My Time. His comments in a recent interview coupled with excerpts from the book have served as a jarring reminder of the lack of accountability we've seen for the torture policies of the Bush administration.
School Vouchers Inflict More Harm Than Good
In communities across the country, a growing and influential group of private school advocates has been pushing school vouchers as a way of improving our public education system. But when you consider that vouchers have the potential to undermine the separation of church and state, have done little to improve student performance and divert desperately needed funding from public schools, they begin to look a lot less like an antidote and more like snake oil.
No Bond, No Bars
This week, the ACLU won an important victory on behalf of Cheikh Diop and hundreds of other detainees subjected to the government's practice of detaining immigrants for prolonged periods of time without bond hearings â€”sometimes for years on end â€” while they defend their legal rights to remain in the country. In Diop v. ICE, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that Mr. Diop's three-year long detention was unconstitutionally unreasonable and that Congress did not intend the immigration laws to allow detention beyond a 'reasonable period of time.'
Rikers Island Spared by Irene, But What About Next Time?
In a press conference last Friday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that, despite the impressive array of hurricane evacuations and preparatory plans implemented to protect New Yorkers in other low-lying areas, Rikers Island would not be evacuated. Luckily for all of us, Irene's sweep through New York was much less disastrous than anticipated. Rikers Island was spared, but we learned something disturbing: the Department of Corrections does not have a large scale evacuation plan in place for the 12,000-plus prisoners of Rikers. Understandably, this revelation caused a flurry of backlash from concerned advocates.
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What the ACLU is and does:
The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.
These rights include:
- Your First Amendment rights - freedom of speech, association and assembly; freedom of the press, and freedom of religion.
- Your right to equal protection under the law - protection against unlawful discrimination.
- Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.
- Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.
The ACLU also works to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including people of color; women; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people; prisoners; and people with disabilities.
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