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Privacy, Security, and Civil Liberties

Coalition Urges Congress to Ensure Fourth Amendment Protection for Digital Communication

Constitution Day ad re ECPAView/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.

 
 

Letter in Support of USA FREEDOM Act (S. 2685)

On July 30, ARL and more than 40 other organizations signed a letter to Senate and House leadership in support of USA FREEDOM Act (S. 2685), which will prohibit "bulk" collection, strengthen transparency reporting provisions, and strengthen reforms to the FISA Court (FISC) process to provide more accountability.

pdfltr-Support-S2685-FREEDOM-31jul2014.pdf

 
 

USA FREEDOM Transparency Letter

On July 29, 2014, ARL joined OpenTheGovernment.org and 19 other organizations that engage on privacy and surveillance issues in a letter to US Congressional leadership expressing support for the compromise version of the USA FREEDOM Act introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

pdfltr-USA-FREEDOM-transparency-final-29jul2014.pdf

 
 

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.

 
 
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