“It is part of the A.C.L.U.’s mandate, part of its mission, to protect consumer privacy,” said Wendy Kaminer, a writer and A.C.L.U. board member. “It goes against A.C.L.U. values to engage in data-mining on people without informing them. It’s not illegal, but it is a violation of our values. It is hypocrisy.”

No surprise there, but why call it “hypocrisy”? Because the ACLU has been doing it to their donors.

So reports Stephanie Strom in today’s New York Times. (You can also read it here.)

A gentle reminder how a chance at a taxpayer-funded program — in this case, participation in a federal charity campaign — can blind even the most doctrinaire.

The American Civil Liberties Union is using sophisticated technology to collect a wide variety of information about its members and donors in a fund-raising effort that has ignited a bitter debate over its leaders’ commitment to privacy rights. …

The issue has attracted the attention of the New York attorney general, who is looking into whether the group violated its promises to protect the privacy of its donors and members.