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now and I think it is certainly appropriate for both video records and
It is that cherished American right of privacy that we are
protecting with this legislation. People in this country may not even be able to read or understand the Constitution, but they surely can
understand the concept of privacy in their personal lives.
unmitigated unvarnished privacy.
The right to be left alone.
why such diverse groups are working on this bill in order to obtain its
I do not mean to imply that the bill as currently drafted is
Otherwise there would not be much reason for these hearings.
I do think we can perhaps review some provisions in the bill and offer suggestions in how to increase its effectiveness without impinging on appropriate release and disclosure of personal records to law
enforcement officials or under court order as appropriate.
I think we need to be especially careful that we do not overly
restrict the access of such information to legitimate police inquiry
where it is necessary to further investigations into criminal
activities which may even affect national security through espionage.
It may seem absurd to state that a person's video records or library
records could somehow be connected with foreign counterintelligence and
But it is quite apparent that just such foreign operatives
are actively engaged in the use of our vast, easily accessible library
system in order to recruit intelligence sources and to uncover
information which perhaps should not be so readily accessible.
I look forward to working with the Senate and House Subcommittees
and the Senate full Committee on the Judiciary on this important
As an original cosponsor of the Senate bill, I think it is most ADDITIONAL MATERIALS
important that we pursue markup on the bill.
I also want to thank
members of these Subcommittees for the active involvement which they
have taken in seeing this legislation through the process and the remarkable and consistent work of Congressman Al McCandless in the
House to introduce the bill and work towards its passage.
Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
July 26, 1988
The Honorable William S. Sessions
Dear Mr. Sessions:
The House of Representatives Committee
the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties and the Administration of Justice and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Technology and the Law are planning to conduct a joint hearing on H.R. 4947 and s. 2361 (copies enclosed), relating to the privacy rights of users of video and library services. The hearing will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 3, 1988, in Room 2237 Rayburn House Office Building.
We would like to
or your designee to appear and testify on H.R. 4947 and s. 2361. Please summarize your opening statement so that it does not exceed five minutes. Enclosed you will find notice which sets forth the House
Judiciary Committee's requirement that prepared statements be filed at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled appearance. In accordance with Committee policy, fifty copies of your statement must be submitted by no later than 9:30 a.m. on August 1, 1988. Due to the large number of Members who will be attending the hearing, an extra fifty statements would be appreciated. Please forward 50 copies to the House Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties and the Administration of Justice, 2137 Rayburn House office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515, and 50 copies to the Senate Subcommittee on Technology and the Law, 224 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510.
The Honorable William S. Sessions
Please do not hesitate to contact either committee at 225-3926 or 224-3406 if you need further information.
Your earliest acceptance of this invitation would be appreciated.
Thank you for your letter dated July 26, 1988, inviting me to appear at the joint hearing of the House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, civil Liberties, and the Administration of Justice and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Technology and the Law on August 3, 1988, to testify on issues related to the privacy rights of users of video and library services. I must deciine the invitation but would like to offer comments on H.R. 4947 and s. 2361 which I will provide to you by separate letter.