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News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Standing up for consumer rights, the ACLU says that individuals have the right to read books, view films, and buy other items without the government keeping tabs on what they choose to read, watch, or purchase.

Published: 
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Government surveillance of political activists without any suspicion of wrongdoing is unfortunately all too familiar, but recent events and evidence show that the problem is increasingly widespread. The ACLU-WA is working to keep its fingers on the pulse of the surveillance state and ensure that laws and policies are in place to safeguard our civil liberties. To help you see the big picture, we’ve created a new feature on our website highlighting what we've learned so far. Read more
Published: 
Friday, May 21, 2010
The right to obtain government documents is an important right for all people in Washington. It helps the public know what the government is doing and hold government agencies and officials accountable for their actions. The Washington Supreme Court recently ruled that government agencies, including the Department of Corrections, must comply with the rules for public records requests, even when the requester is a prison inmate. The agency and its employees cannot go to court to stop the disclosure of the records without including the requester in the lawsuit. The court handed down the decision in Burt v. Department of Corrections on May 13. Washington state has a strong law allowing any member of the public to request public records from government agencies. Using that law, an inmate at the state prison in Walla Walla submitted a request for public records relating to certain prison guards and employees. The employees filed a suit to stop disclosure of the records. The court papers name their employer, the Department, as the “opposing party” even though the Department’s interests were more aligned with the employees than with the requesting inmate. The requester inmate was denied the chance to participate in the lawsuit, and the judge ordered the records would not be disclosed after only hearing from the employees and the Department. The majority opinion ruled that Washington’s public records law was violated because the records requester should have been made a party to the lawsuit. The Court in part agreed with the ACLU’s position. The Court recognized the requester had an important interest at stake, that the government did not necessarily share the same interest as the requester, and that therefore it was unfair to exclude the records requester from the proceedings to determine if the records should be released. Agreeing with the majority, Justice Richard Sanders wrote a separate opinion emphasizing that prison inmates have the same rights as any other person in making public records requests. He also admonished the Department and its employees for their conduct in this case and explained they must follow the same rules as everyone else in responding to public records requests, despite the requester’s status as an inmate. He urged judges to be “most skeptical of proceedings, such as this one, that have all the earmarks of a collusive lawsuit.” The dissenting opinion agreed with one of the ACLU’s points. The ACLU believes that public records requesters should not be forced to be party to a lawsuit just because they exercise their right to see public records. Requesters must be given the chance to join the suit if they want to, but they should be free to decline participation if they wish. The case was handled by ACLU-WA volunteer attorney Margaret Pak of Corr Cronin Michelson Baumgardner & Preece LLP and ACLU-WA legal director Sarah Dunne and ACLU-WA staff attorney Nancy Talner.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, May 7, 2010

The ACLU passed out informational flyers as Camerahead agents took their performance art to Seattle's Cal Anderson Park.

News Release, Published: 
Friday, January 29, 2010
The Legislature took significant strides in protecting privacy and extending fairness in several important areas: voting rights reform, domestic partnership rights, privacy for car travelers, and fair play in community sports.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, January 22, 2010
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Letter from Kathleen Taylor re: An effort by some police officials to repeal or significantly modify Seattle’s Police Intelligence Ordinance.
News Release, Published: 
Thursday, January 7, 2010
After months of advocacy, the ACLU scored another win for privacy, this time with a new regional transit card. As with the Enhanced Driver’s License, we worked to limit the potential for tracking and monitoring of individuals without their knowledge.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, December 7, 2009
A person’s DNA is the blueprint of one’s identity. The ACLU-WA opposes proposals to collect DNA from people who are merely arrested, regardless of whether they are convicted.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, December 7, 2009

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