ACLU Announces New Legislative Counsel For Technology And Privacy Issues

September 10, 2009 12:00 am

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Technology And Liberty Project’s Christopher Calabrese Takes On New Role


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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today announced that Christopher Calabrese will be serving as Legislative Counsel for privacy-related issues for its Washington Legislative Office. Prior to joining the Washington Legislative Office, Calabrese served as Project Counsel to the ACLU Technology & Liberty Project, which monitors the interplay between cutting-edge technology and civil liberties. In his new role as Legislative Counsel, Calabrese will be working with members of Congress, their staff and federal agencies to keep Americans’ privacy safe from threats posed by the ever-expanding collection of personal information by the government and private sector.

“As Americans become increasingly reliant on technology, the kind of experience and knowledge Chris Calabrese brings to the post of Legislative Counsel is needed more than ever,” said Michael Macleod-Ball, Acting Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “His intellect and dedication to protecting civil liberties will be huge assets in the fight to protect the public’s personal information both online and in American society.”

Calabrese has led several campaigns at the ACLU, including opposing the implementation of the Real ID Act, which creates a National ID card; urging state public utility commissions to investigate telecommunications companies’ illegal cooperation with the National Security Agency; limiting the Constitution Free Zone, which allows unconstitutional searches with 100 miles of the U.S. border; and ending law enforcement’s use of commercial databases and datamining as part of the Multi-State Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange (MATRIX) program. Calabrese has appeared on several media outlets, including CBS Evening News, Fox News and National Public Radio, discussing technology and privacy issues, and he has been quoted in a variety of publications including the New York Times, Washington Post and Associated Press. In addition to his communications outreach, Calabrese has also initiated Freedom of Information Act requests and provided legal guidance on the impact of new technologies on civil liberties.

“I am proud to join the Washington Legislative Office in the fight to protect privacy, and I’m excited to take on this new responsibility within the ACLU,” said Calabrese. “We need strong laws to assure that as technology becomes more powerful it does not keep Americans from living lives free from unwarranted surveillance.”

Before joining the ACLU in 2004, Calabrese served as the Legal Counsel to the Massachusetts Senate Majority Leader, Linda J. Melconian. In that capacity, he helped draft the Massachusetts Genetic Anti-Discrimination and Privacy Law and a number of other measures aimed at preserving individual rights. Calabrese is a graduate of Harvard University and holds a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

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