By Michael Macleod-Ball, Acting Director of the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office
The Senate Judiciary Committee is due to mark up Senator Leahy’s bill on Thursday. That bill is certainly a step in the right direction, but we believe that the JUSTICE Act, with its comprehensive approach to surveillance, is the bill Congress should pass. We’re urging members of the committee to vote for any JUSTICE Act amendments that may be added to Senator Leahy’s bill during the markup. In the end, it’s not enough to simply add safeguards to a few sections of the Patriot Act – we need broader privacy and civil liberties protections to reform the whole Act as well as other overreaching surveillance laws passed in recent years.