Oliver Stone: Don’t Stand By While the NSA’s Surveillance Machine Eats Our Civil Liberties

This blog post is by Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist for the National ACLU. It originally appeared on the ACLU's Blog of Rights.

After The Guardian and The Washington Post revealed the astonishing scope of some of the NSA's surveillance activities, some people claimed that Americans wouldn't care. But Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone doesn't accept that.

Supreme Court Ruling a Blow to Genetic Privacy

On Wednesday, June 25, Governor Sandoval signed a bill requiring the DNA collection and testing of all individuals arrested for a felony in Nevada. Today, in a case from Maryland, the United States Supreme Court ruled that DNA testing of arrestees is constitutional. Nevada’s new law is much broader than the scheme in Maryland examined by the court. Nevada’s law requires DNA testing for any person arrested for a felony, but Maryland’s is limited to violent felonies. Similarly, Nevada’s law does not prohibit familial searching and does not require automatic expungement of DNA records if an individual is not convicted of a crime. Maryland’s law prohibits familiar searching and also requires automatic expungement of records. There are two known cases in Nevada where mistakes made in DNA testing by crime labs resulted in the conviction of innocent people. The ACLU of Nevada will closely monitor the implementation of this law while reviewing whether it meets the new constitutional bar.

What Secrets Are In Your DNA?

Today is National DNA Day, which commemorates the anniversaries of the discovery of the double helix in 1953 and the completion of the National Genome Project in 2003. It is a day to celebrate and learn more about the marvels and technological advances in DNA. DNA analysis reveals a "treasure-trove" of information about an individual's medical and personal history and therefore is not simply a method of identification, like a fingerprint.

ACLU of Nevada and Local Artist Eric Holland Produce (Un)Civil Liberties Art Show

RENO, NV – The entire Northern Nevada community is invited to an eye-opening Reno event, the (Un)Civil Liberties Art Show, combining civil liberties with the arts to highlight the necessity of protecting our constitutional rights and liberties, and specifically focusing on fighting the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The event, sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada and local artist and art teacher Erik Holland, is at 5-8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 25, at Rainshadow Charter High School, 121 Vesta Street. It is free and open to the public.

Counterterrorism "Fusion Centers" Threaten Civil Liberties

Last week, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a two-year bipartisan report of 141 pages concluding that the 70 state and local intelligence “fusion centers” have not produced significant, useful information to support federal counterterrorism intelligence efforts.

Nevada Highway Patrol using Automatic License Plate Recognition System for DEA

LAS VEGAS, NV – Several law enforcement agencies in Nevada have responded to the request by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada for documents related to the acquisition and use of automatic license plate readers (ALPR) that can be used for important purposes, such catching a fleeing suspect, to tracking and recording the movements of huge numbers of innocent Americans going about their daily business.

Automated License Plate Recognition Helps Law Enforcement but Endangers Public Privacy

The Henderson, Nevada, Police Department implemented automated license plate recognition (ALPR) in three patrol cars in May 2011 and the next month bragged that a stolen vehicle had been spotted and its driver arrested through use of the technology—which cost $160,000 to be installed in nine cars. Impressive technology, right? (Although it should be, with that pricetag!)

ACLU Seeks Details on Automatic License Plate Readers in Massive Nationwide Request

NEW YORK –American Civil Liberties Union affiliates in 35 states, including the ACLU of Nevada, sent requests today to local police departments and state agencies that demand information on how they use automatic license plate readers (ALPR) to track and record Americans’ movements.

No DNA Collection Before Conviction

How do you feel about your DNA being collected and stored before ever being convicted of a crime? Some states have adopted a version of this policy, where the government collects DNA samples after every arrest. Thankfully, Nevada is not one of those states – yet. The ACLU of Nevada has helped fight off automatic DNA collection after felony arrests in 2011, but it could resurface in the next legislative session.

Concern About Police Drones

The idea of police drones flying over Nevada has attracted a great deal of media and public attention over the past few weeks even though no drones are FAA-licensed for use in our state.


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