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The American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont [ACLU VT]
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The American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont is freedom's watchdog, working in the courts, legislatures, and communities to defend individual rights and personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
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Surveillance on the Northern Border

Automated license plate readers, cell phone tracking data, facial recognition software, drones, fusion centers, Border Patrol stops nearly a hundred miles from the Canadian line – where’s all this leading? Government isn’t supposed to be collecting information about us unless we’re suspected of breaking the law. Learn more --watch the video below*, and read our report!

At our Constitution Day press conference, we released the first-ever drone video flyover of the Vermont Statehouse. Take a look!*

 

 
Learn How To Protect Your Privacy Online!

When you learn, share, shop, and connect online, a lot happens behind the scenes that companies and the government don't want you to know. The sites that you visit can collect detailed information about you -- your interests, politics, relationships, and more. This information can be shared, sold, or handed over to the government -- without a warrant.

Look behind the curtain to see what's really happening to your personal info. See what you can do right now to take back control and keep details about your private life from being used and abused.

 

 

Student Rights Handbook -- Know Your Rights!

"Can they do that?" It's a question we get asked all the time from students in Vermont public schools. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 1969 Tinker vs. Des Moines case that students "don't shed their constitutional rights" at the schoolhouse gate.

Our Student Rights Handbook touches on everything from dress codes to censorship, searches to discipline. Learn about your rights at school -- and exercise them.

 

 

 

Multimedia Corner

Recent ACLU videos (all but "Lesbian Couple" are on YouTube*, unless noted):

From our 2010 annual meeting:

From our 2009 annual meeting:

From our 2009 civil liberties conference on First Amendment rights:

*Please note that by playing this or some of the other clips noted on this page, YouTube will place a long-term cookie on your computer. Please see YouTube’s privacy statement on their Web site to learn more. You can also go directly to YouTube to view the videos.
**This video is hosted on the National ACLU Web site. To view the National ACLU’s privacy statement, click here.
***This video is hosted on vimeo.com.

 

Civil Liberties Blog

Are We As Bad As Albuquerque?

April 15, 2014

The number of Vermont lawsuits we’ve uncovered alleging Taser abuse by police and resulting in settlements has climbed to eight with a total pay-out by police of $287,500. And our list of Awful But Lawful cases contains descriptions of 10 Vermont cases where Taser user was at least questionable, if not inappropriate. But the most critical news of police misuse of Tasers may have come in a report issued last week by investigators in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. After a two-year review, they found that officers in the Albuquerque, N.M., Police Department engaged in a pattern of excessive use of force. One of the areas of abuse specifically noted in the report was Taser abuse. And the DOJ investigators recounted a series of abusive Taser incidents that are eerily similar to Vermont cases.

Read the rest of this entry »

Items Of Interest

 

Awards Presented At Annual Meeting!

The ACLU-VT gave its David W. Curtis Civil Liberties Award to the farm workers group Migrant Justice (Justicia Migrante) for its work advocating for the core rights of all who live in Vermont, especially the rights of association and movement. More.

Smart Meters -- What's The Buzz?

Vermont utilities have been rolling out "smart meters" as part of the statewide effort to build a "smart grid." The ACLU has privacy concerns, other groups have health concerns. Get up to speed -- read more about smart meters.
 

Dissent Is Patriotic

Dissent is a form of patriotism. Free and open discourse is the lifeblood in a democracy. As long as the ACLU has existed, we've been defending the rights of demonstrators to speak their minds and gather to express their views. Know your rights.

Want to know what the government knows about you?

File a FOIA.

Here's how.

 

 

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