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Coalition Urges Congress to Ensure Fourth Amendment Protection for Digital Communication

Constitution Day ad re ECPA View/download PDF On Constitution Day, September 17, 2014, ARL joined a coalition of businesses and civil rights, privacy, and public interest organizations in running an advertisement in Roll Call urging Congressional leaders to bring two bipartisan bills, S. 607 and H.R. 1852, to the floor. These bills would update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and ensure that the warrant standard of the Fourth Amendment applies to private digital communication and information just as it applies to physical property. As an increasing amount of information is stored in cloud-based services and more communication takes place online, ensuring that the Fourth Amendment extends to the digital environment is critical. This coalition also sent letters to the leadership of the US House of Representatives and the US Senate urging passage of the ECPA legislation.

 
 

Coalitions Support Leahy’s USA FREEDOM Bill for Surveillance Reform

telephone with sticker that says image © François Proulx

This week, ARL joined two groups of organizations that engage on privacy and surveillance issues in letters to US Congressional leadership expressing support for the compromise version of the USA FREEDOM Act introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on July 29, 2014 (S. 2685). The July 29 letter focuses on the enhanced transparency provision (PDF) and the July 30 letter addresses the bill more comprehensively (PDF). Both letters urge Congress to act swiftly and pass the new version of the bill, without any dilution or amendment. 

 
 

ARL Joins Coalition in Advocating for Surveillance Reform

telephone with sticker that says image © François Proulx

On June 18, 2014, ARL joined 36 organizations that engage on privacy and surveillance issues in a letter (PDF) to US Senate leadership expressing concerns with the version of the USA FREEDOM Act passed by the US House of Representatives on May 22 (H.R. 3361). The legislation was originally intended to limit the Government’s ability to conduct bulk collection of records. The letter notes that, before a vote on the House floor, last-minute changes were made that resulted in half of the bill’s co-sponsors withdrawing their support and voting against the bill because it was significantly weakened and lacked clarity.

 
 

Email Privacy Act Cosponsored by Majority of House of Representatives; ARL Applauds Milestone in ECPA Reform

e-mail-iconimage courtesy gezegenARL is pleased that on June 17, 2014, the Email Privacy Act, H.R. 1852, reached a milestone of 218 cosponsors, representing support from a majority of the members of the US House of Representatives.

 
 

ARL Joins Coalition in Letter Supporting Surveillance Reform

telephone with sticker that says image © François Proulx

On June 4, 2014, ARL joined 23 public sector organizations that engage on privacy and surveillance issues in a letter (PDF) to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and the chairs of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence regarding the USA FREEDOM Act, H.R. 3361 and S. 1599, a bill intended to limit the Government’s ability to conduct bulk collection of records. H.R. 3361 as passed by the US House of Representatives was significantly weakened and many provisions now lack clarity.

 
 
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