It's not always easy keeping up to date on all the civil liberties issues we deal with. That's why once a week, we run down recent news and events in our Rights Review.

This week we're shocked at news that puts health care for Michigan workers at risk, we're letting free speech out of its cage and asking the question: why hasn't your privacy been protected since MacGyver was on air?

Michigan News

Free Speech in a Cage?

We're happy to report that the city of Howell has dropped the idea of creating unnecessary "free-speech zones" during festivals. These zones all too often become cages to stifle and censor controversial voices.

Howell Mayor Pro Tem Steve Manor agreed, opposing the idea on the grounds that it would infringe on our basic First Amendment rights. When government tries to silence opinions, we all pay the price with our freedom (via the Livingston Daily).


Breaking Promises to Michigan Families

Just as we were celebrating the state legislature's support for the Michigan Civil Service Commission decision to offer insurance benefits to unmarried partners of state employees, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed a lawsuit seeking to block the decision.

At a time when many Michigan residents are suffering financially, it is truly shocking that the Attorney General would attempt to take away health care benefits and break a promise negotiated between the Commission and unions in good faith (via the American Independent).

National News

You're being Tracked. Now Do Something About It!

With recent revelations about Michigan State Police's cellphone searches and iPhone security failures, everyone is wondering how to protect our privacy without giving up our phones.

We must demand legal protections against unwarranted invasions of our privacy. The ACLU and a coalition with other privacy groups, libertarian organizations and major companies (including Google!) all agree that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the law intended to protect our digital privacy, must be revised.

The vast amount of personal information generated by today’s digital communication wasn't anticipated when ECPA was drafted back in 1986. It's essential that we revise the law to require probable cause and a search warrant issued by a court (via the Blog of Rights).