DOJ stance sets dangerous precedent
On Wednesday, Chamber of Progress sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland calling on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to change its position on the privacy of electronic communications data and content under the Fourth Amendment.
Following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling, the letter highlights that federal prosecutors set a dangerous precedent by frequently undermining Fourth Amendment protections to access data held by third party service providers. That precedent may be used by state law enforcement seeking to prosecute women for reproductive care.
In the letter, Chamber of Progress VP Of Legal Advocacy Elizabeth Banker makes the case that the DOJ’s position plays an instrumental role in setting legal precedent, and that its current stance endangers women following the Dobbs decision. From the letter:
“DOJ’s approach to [data privacy] issues is highly influential. Courts have already adopted the government’s reasoning that individuals do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in electronic data and communications held by service providers.
We share your interest in successful prosecution of dangerous criminals, but believe that interest is compatible with recognizing that important constitutional protections must apply to Americans’ most personal information regardless of whether it is located in their home, on their phone, or held by a service provider. In the absence of strong statutory protections, women depend on these constitutional guarantees to protect their privacy from state law enforcement’s unwarranted intrusions.”
Chamber of Progress’s statement on the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is available here.
Chamber of Progress (progresschamber.org) is a center-left tech industry policy coalition promoting technology’s progressive future. We work to ensure that all Americans benefit from technological leaps, and that the tech industry operates responsibly and fairly.
Our corporate partners do not have a vote on or veto over our positions. We do not speak for individual partner companies and remain true to our stated principles even when our partners disagree.