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"eBill of Rights" Proposed by Politically Diverse Organizations

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Transpartisan Alliance Seeks Internet Privacy/Security Guarantees; Demands Government and Business “Stand Up and Play Right”

(Washington, DC) ... The Liberty Coalition, a "transpartisan" group of more than 70 good government groups that span the political spectrum, has announced today their support for electronic privacy rights for all Americans.

"We are proud to be coalition partners with this incredibly creative and diverse group," states Mike McCray, Esq., co-chair of the International Association of Whistleblowers (IAW). "Electronic privacy is amoung the most important issues of our time."

"We'd like to see the presidential candidates have a town-hall meeting sponsored by the IAW, the Liberty Coalition, and all of our coalition partners. We'd like to see the candidates address electronic privacy. We'd like to see where they stand on Whistleblower protection," added Dr. James Murtagh, co-chair of the IAW. 

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 The term "transpartisan" (as distinct from "bipartisan") has been used by the Liberty coalition to denote cooperation between groups that retain their partisan principles, but who want to work together on issues of constitutional importance to Americans as a whole. Electronic privacy is one such issue that good government groups across the spectrum support.

The press release from the Liberty Coalition this morning spells out: "A broad range of advocacy organizations, ranging from the Rutherford Institute and the Equal Justice Alliance to the International Association of Whistleblowers, are uniting in support of a newly drafted eBill of Rights, created to protect the “Constitutional right of all Americans to private and secure communications, including those made by digital means.” Under the auspices of The Liberty Coalition — a consortium of groups promoting personal autonomy and individual privacy — the eBill of Rights seeks to influence public policy and impact corporate interests dealing with digital communications."

Michael Ostrolenk, National Director of the Liberty Coalition noted that, “It’s about time government and the private sector stand up, play right, and provide and protect American citizens’ Constitutionally-guaranted privacy rights.”

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He went on to say: “In the wake of scandals involving government prying into the phone calls and e-mails of Americans in the name of ‘national security,’ and the practical and imminent threats of viruses, spam, and spyware, there is a need for protection of private property rights and the reliable security of our communications systems.”
 

 

The eBill of Rights asserts that, “Citizens’ digital communications shall be protected against unreasonable searches and seizures as construed by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” and that, “all forms of digital communication shall be construed to be private so that such communication may not be accessed or used without the prior express informed consent of all of the originator(s).” Section VI of the ten point statement declares: “Users of digital communication equipment, systems, or devices shall be able to utilize encipher technology in order to protect the privacy and security of their communications.”

Section VIII of the eBill of Rights states:

“Government agencies and companies in possession of any private digital communication or property shall not disclose any information for any reason, including the pretext of a National Security Letter, without the presentation of a fully executed warrant.”
 
The full text of the statement, including a list of the initial organizations who endorsed it, is at: http://libertycoalition.net/ebill-rights
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Former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr (now the 2008 Libertarian Party candidate for President) stated, “The eBill of Rights is welcome news to all Americans who understand and treasure the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution — and who fear the rights spelled out in those
documents may be further diluted or ignored in this age of the internet.”

Attorney Jim Turner, Chairman of Citizens for Health (one of the organizations which signed the declaration) noted that, “Congress needs to hear loud and clear the ten principles set forth in this eBill of Rights statement. Privacy rights and freedom of speech are very important concepts to citizens of all political persuasions.”

Among the organizations endorsing the eBill of Rights are ...

• the Rutherford Institute (www.rutherford.org)
• the Defending Dissent Foundation (www.defendingdissent.org)
• the International Association of Whistleblowers (www.internationalassemblyofwhistleblowers.org)
• the American Policy Center (www.americanpolicy.org)
• the Equal Justice Alliance (www.equaljusticealliance.org)
 
The Liberty Coalition, founded in 2005, works to help organize, support, and coordinate transpartisan public policy activities related to civil liberties and basic human rights concerning such issues as the Patriot Act, National Identification Cards/National Drivers License, government databanks, medical privacy, and national security whistleblowers.

 

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James J. Murtagh, Jr. is a doctor of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine, and the Medical Director of several sleep laboratories in Southern Ohio. Dr. Murtagh extensively writes on medical ethics. Dr. Murtagh is the founder of a new (more...)
 
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