Welcomes Focus on Mass Surveillance and Unlimited Collection of Personal Information by Police

2014 Liberty Caucus
Richmond, VA -- The ACLU of Virginia welcomed the announcement this week by Delegate Richard Anderson (R Woodbridge) and Senator Chap Peterson (D Fairfax) of the formation of a legislative caucus committed to protecting the privacy and safety of all Virginians. Delegate Anderson described the founding principle of the caucus at a press conference Monday: “privacy is essential to liberty and liberty is essential to safety.”  Senator Peterson added that the purpose of the bi-partisan, bi-cameral Caucus is to “protect the privacy and liberty of Virginians against unnecessary intrusion by government agencies and law enforcement.”
“We agree with the caucus founders that protection of the privacy and liberty of Virginians is a priority issue of our time and must be a priority issue for the Virginia General Assembly,” said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, Executive Director of the ACLU of Virginia.  “The existence of new technologies that allow the collection and storage of mass quantities of information about us and our movements as we go about our daily lives should not suffice as a reason for mass surveillance by police and government regulatory bodies,” she continued.  “Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should do something,” she concluded, adding, “the ACLU of Virginia looks forward to working with the Ben Franklin Caucus and other interested stakeholders to develop and pass legislation governing use of new technologies that will permit effective law and regulatory enforcement and keep us safe without requiring Virginians to sacrifice our privacy or our liberty.”