It’s been a frightening few weeks for journalists concerned with protecting their sources—and for Americans concerned with protecting their privacy. On May 13, the Associated Press revealed that the Justice Department secretly…

How much of the ACLU’s prescient 2004 short film Ordering Pizza, which envisions ordering a pizza online in a future dystopian electronic surveillance state, has is already starting to come true? Getting takeout has never been so traumatic:

We are facing a flood of powerful new technologies that expand the potential for centralized monitoring, an executive branch aggressively seeking new powers to spy on citizens, a docile Congress and courts, as well as a cadre of mega-corporations that are willing to become extensions of the surveillance state. We confront the possibility of a dark future where our every move, our every transaction, our every communication is recorded, compiled, and stored away, ready for access by the authorities whenever they want.

Via CopBlock:

Says the Massachusetts ACLU:

We now have proof of what peace groups and activists have long suspected: Boston Police officers have worked within the local fusion spying center, the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC), to monitor the lawful political activity of local peace groups and track their movements and beliefs. This information has been retained in searchable electronic “intelligence” reports bearing labels such as “Groups – Civil Disturbance,” “Groups–Extremists,” “HomeSec-Domestic” under the heading “Criminal Act.”

Looks like those “fusion centers” are indeed the hotbeds of misinformation and civil rights suppression that most of us – including the Senate – assumed that they were.

Read a complete rundown of what the ACLU discovered here.

An adorable animation unveiling the ACLU’s free Police Tape app, available initially for Android and soon for iOS. You too can be a watchdog!

Citizens can hold police accountable in the palms of their hands with “Police Tape,” a smartphone application from the ACLU of New Jersey that allows people to securely record and store interactions with police, as well as provide legal information about citizens’ rights when interacting with the police.

This is embarrassing for anyone who voted for “Hope and Change” … and the highest score goes to former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who was not even allowed to debate in televised debates. So reports Bob Egelko in the San Fransisco Chronicle:

The highest overall rating went to former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, a Republican-turned-Libertarian, who opposes the Patriot Act and — unlike Obama — supports the right of gays and lesbians to marry. Among the leading Republican candidates, libertarian-leaning Rep. Ron Paul also got a higher score than Obama despite low ratings in several categories.

Is the restriction of pornography to inmates because of the lack of literary diversity offered in prisons or because of a possible porn/violence connection? ABC reports: The American Civil Liberties Union is…

From the “You can’t make this stuff up” department, via AP/Seacoastonline:

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — First there was a Bigfoot sighting. Now, there’s a Bigfoot suing.

A performance artist and amateur filmmaker who dressed as the mythical beast says New Hampshire park rangers didn’t have the right to kick him off a mountain where he had been scaring, or at least amusing, hikers while friends videotaped his antics.

Backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Jonathan Doyle is suing the state…

Fox News reports: A former FBI informant who infiltrated a California mosque violated the constitutional rights of Muslims by conducting “indiscriminate surveillance” because of their religion, according to a federal lawsuit filed…

As if beatings from wardens and guards weren’t bad enough… from

A device designed to control unruly inmates by blasting them with a beam of intense energy that causes a burning sensation is drawing heat from civil rights groups who fear it could cause serious injury and is “tantamount to torture.”

The mechanism, known as an “Assault Intervention Device,” is a stripped-down version of a military gadget…

Arabic Study CardsRAW Story is reporting today the ACLU is filing a lawsuit on behalf of the student. Here’s the original report from Dave Davies in the Philadelphia Daily News:

EIGHT YEARS after 9/11, we’re used to changes in our routines. We show ID to get into office buildings, and take off our shoes at airports. But should a college student flying back to school be handcuffed and held for five hours because he has Arabic flash cards in his backpack?

That’s the way Nick George, a senior at Pomona College, in California, sees what happened to him at the Philadelphia airport two Saturdays ago. George, of Wyncote, Montgomery County, was about to catch a Southwest flight back to school when stereo speakers in his backpack caught the eye of screeners at the metal detector.