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ACLU of Washington Launches Secure Communication Tool

Most of us use cell phones and email every day. As our communications make their way from sender to recipient, they expose information about their contents and our interactions with others. The technologies we rely on thus come with inherent risks to our privacy and security. Thanks to disclosures made by whistleblower Edward Snowden about the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies, we have a better sense of the extent to which surveillance pervades American life. Read More »
Police drone

Support Reasonable Regulations on Government Drones

For decades, local law enforcement has used aviation for specific and limited purposes, such as search and rescue, high-speed chases, and traffic control. Helicopters require costly equipment and fuel and risk loss of life, so law enforcement has used them sparingly. Read More »

State Legislature Acts to Regulate Stingrays

Apr 17, 2015
In a bipartisan action, the Washington Legislature has approved legislation to regulate government use of cell site simulator devices, better known as Stingrays. The bill, HB 1440 – “Prohibiting the use of a cell site simulator device without a warrant,” passed the House by a unanimous vote yesterday after the Senate also had passed it unanimously. It now awaits Governor Inslee’s signature to become law. Read More »
eye graphic

Seattle Speaks: Privacy Politics

Date: April 22, 2015 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location: Town Hall, Seattle and broadcast on Seattle Channel
n an era of open government, data is critical to the promise of efficiency and transparency, but does releasing this data publicly harm or help society?  ACLU-WA Legislative Director Shankar Narayan will discuss this issue along with representatives from the Seattle Police Department, city government and local privacy activists. Read More »
Body camera on police officer

Liberty Link: ACLU-WA Urges Spokane to Strengthen Police Body Camera Policies

By the end of the summer, the Spokane Police Department (SPD) will begin using officer-worn cameras as part of a pilot program. While the ACLU-WA has supported the use of body cameras for accountability purposes, we recently expressed concern that the SPD’s draft policies do not adequately protect individual privacy or ensure effective oversight. Read More »

Support HB 2789: Reasonable Regulations on Drones

Domestic drones are increasingly being acquired by
government agencies such as police departments. But
Washington has no regulations on how drones may be
used by the government—and in particular what
protections need to be in place to protect individual
privacy. HB 2789 would put reasonable drone
regulations in place—ensuring that Washingtonians
can enjoy the benefits of this useful new technology,
allowing government agencies to use them for
legitimate purposes, and ensuring that the policy
debate happens before large numbers of drones fly
over our state.
Drone Read More »
ACLU supporters lobbying Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles

ACLU activists make the case for reasonable drone regulation

A group of enthusiastic ACLU-WA activists met at the State Capitol on Tuesday to encourage legislators to support  House Bill 1771 and Senate Bill 6172 calling for reasonable, common sense limits to drone use by state and local government agencies. Read More »
Police officer getting aggressive with protester

Balancing Police Oversight and Privacy: ACLU Offers Recommendations for Body Cams

Police departments across the state have adopted or are looking to buy on-officer recording systems, or “body cameras,” to provide oversight for law enforcement. These cameras can be very beneficial for accountability to prevent or identify police misconduct. But, they also pose risks to privacy for those captured in the recordings. Read More »