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Privacy, Security, and Civil Liberties

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.

 
 

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.

 
 

Letter to Senate Leadership on USA FREEDOM Process

Letter from ARL and 23 other organizations to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Chairmen Patrick J. Leahy, and Dianne Feinstein, and Ranking Members Churck Grassley and Saxby Chambliss showing concern over the USA FREEDOM bill changes made in the House and the breadth of the surveillance that the bill could be read to authorize.

pdfltr-Senate-leadership-USA-Freedom-12jun2014.pdf

 
 

ARL Disappointed by Version of USA FREEDOM Act Passed by US House of Representatives

telephone with sticker that says "this phone is tapped"image © François Proulx

Today, May 22, 2014, the US House of Representatives voted 303 to 121 to pass H.R. 3361, the USA FREEDOM Act, after amending the bill twice in committees. The original version of the bill, which currently remains unaltered in the Senate, had 151 House co-sponsors. Some of these co-sponsors withdrew their support and opposed the version of H.R. 3361 reported out of the House Rules Committee on May 21 because of the significant changes made. Even several of those co-sponsors who voted in favor of H.R. 3361 expressed disappointment that the bill did not go far enough in curtailing the Government’s ability to conduct bulk collection of records and failed to protect privacy and civil liberties in the same manner as the prior versions.

 
 

Letter to Congress in Opposition of Bulk Collection

On April 1, 2014, the Association of Research Libraries joined over 40 other organizations in signing a letter on bulk collection to Congress. The letter states that any legislation should prohibit bulk collection of all types and expresses support of the USA FREEDOM Act.

pdf ltr-bulk-collection-to-Congress-1apr2014.pdf

 
 

Letter to OSTP Requesting Comments for "Big Data" Review

In February 2014, ARL joined the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and 23 other organizations in a letter requesting that the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) solicit public comments regarding the White House review of “Big Data and the Future of Privacy.” 

pdf ltr-to-ostp-re-big-data-privacy-10feb2014.pdf

 
 
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