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AALL, ALA and other advocacy groups raise privacy concerns for AG Sessions

Via CDT – January 9, 2017 – To Senator Charles Grassley, Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, Re: Nomination for Attorney General of Senator Sessions
“Dear Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein: We are writing to express our concerns about the privacy record of the President-Elect’s nominee for Attorney General of the United States, Senator Jeff Sessions.  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. Senator Sessions’s own statements, excerpted below, demonstrate an inclination to gloss over differences between criminal and foreign intelligence investigations; a lack of respect for the right to privacy, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of the press; and a desire to use American companies to warrantlessly spy on Americans….”

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