ACLU on Homeland Security

American Civil Liberties Union


USA Freedom Act should be first small step of more reforms

The USA Freedom Act that passed by a 67-32 margin is not as strong as we wanted. It is markedly weaker than the original version of the USA Freedom Act that the ACLU first supported in 2013, which itself left many serious surveillance abuses untouched. We were a vocal critic of its shortcomings and supported a sunset of the provisions in an effort to advance more comprehensive reform. This includes:
Source: ACLU 2015 voting recommendation on USA Freedom Act , Jun 3, 2015

Require a warrant to get location info from cell phones

LD415: An Act To Require a Warrant To Obtain the Location Information of a Cell Phone or Other Electronic Device

Veto message:This bill simply goes too far. To obtain location data on a cell phone currently, police obtain a court order. This allows them to access historic--not real-time--location data. Many crimes would not have been solved if this law had been in place.

Summary by the ACLU: "We are thrilled that the legislature recognized the importance of protecting Mainers' privacy and stepped up to make sure this bill became law," said the Executive Director of the ACLU of Maine. "As technologies advance, it's important that the law keeps up. With these warrant requirements in place, privacy protections in Maine are among the strongest in the nation."

Legislative outcome:Vetoed by Gov. LePage 7/8/13; Override Passed House 125-17-9, Roll Call #442 on 7/9; Passed Senate 22-11-2, Roll Call #369 on 7/9.

Source: ACLU on Maine legislative voting records: LD415 , Jul 9, 2013

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Page last updated: May 01, 2021