On January 9, 2017, ARL joined a coalition of organizations in sending a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Feinstein (D-CA) raising concerns regarding Senator Sessions’ record on privacy.
The letter notes that
Senator Sessions has been a leading proponent of expanding the government’s surveillance of ordinary Americans at the expense of civil rights and civil liberties. He has spent his 20-year career in the Senate arguing for broad, often unchecked surveillance powers in intelligence investigations, even though those investigations pose unnecessarily invasive risks to privacy. Senator Sessions has staunchly defended the USA Patriot Act’s most controversial and privacy invasive provisions, calling the Act “a restrained piece of legislation.” He has advocated for broader surveillance powers than the intelligence community (IC) itself has asked for and opposed the USA Freedom Act, which the IC supported.
The letter continues by providing specific examples and statements by Senator Sessions that raise serious concerns regarding his commitment to privacy, freedom of speech and civil liberties. The full letter can be read here.