Office of Communications, Inc.

UCC Media Justice Update

Giving Thanks and Taking Action: Protecting Civil Liberties in the Modern Age

As we give thanks during the holiday season, we take a moment to acknowledge the benefit of living in a country that is often a world-model for protecting civil liberties. And yet it seems every week we have learned more about law enforcement surveillance of the American people. The United Church of Christ has long been known for its bold prophetic voice -- supporting racial, gender, and religious equality--which is inconsistent with profiling of people because of their race, undocumented status, or religion. The UCC also has been involved in many areas of advocacy, civic engagement, and civil disobedience, thus we have a strong interest in the just and responsible exercise of law enforcement powers.

New technology is making profiling and surveillance at the same time easier to conduct and also more difficult to detect. We described in this recent letter the unacceptable treatment of people of color and Muslims, who have been inappropriately targeted by law enforcement. The law ostensibly protecting people from this kind of surveillance has not been updated since 1986, leaving many communities vulnerable when they use new technologies, or when law enforcement avails itself of modern techniques. 

New technology should not erode our civil liberties. Law enforcement searches of email, cell phones, GPS devices and online content should receive the same constitutional protection as letters and telephone calls. UCC OC Inc. and its partners in the civil rights and civil liberty communities support legislation introduced by Senators Leahy and Lee to update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which would bring the law up-to-date.

Please join this campaign to get 100,000 signatures by December 12 asking the White House to support updating of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which would protect modern communications as much as traditional methods. Please sign the petition by December 12


For an amusing Christmas take on this effort -- visit

9/11 Anniversary a Chance to Transcend Racial Profiling, by Wade Henderson, President & CEO, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Racial Profiling, an explanation from the Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ

Modernizing the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, American Civil Liberties Union

Categories: privacy



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