Resolution Adopted by the CCAR

Privacy

Adopted by the CCAR at the 87th Annual Convention of
the Central Conference of American Rabbis
1976

WHEREAS privacy in Judaism is more than a legal right inasmuch as there is a compelling moral imperative for man to protect his own privacy, and

WHEREAS we are concerned deeply by the recent Congressional disclosures of governmental agencies flagrantly violating American citizens' right of privacy in the forms of spying, wiretapping, opening mail and compiling data dossiers, and

WHEREAS democracy is distinguished from dictatorship primarily in the respect and self-restraint it manifests toward the human rights of its citizens and, therefore, those United States government agencies which have invaded the privacy of Americans by electronic surveillance, opening mail, spying, etc., are guilty of totalitarian practices that are totally inimical both to The Constitution's Bill of Rights and to Judaism's teachings,

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that we condemn these governmental abuses unequivocally and urge firm Congressional action to assure that a repetition cannot occur, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in order to assure that no governmental agency can amass information that may be used to violate a citizen's right of privacy there should be legislation prohibiting any branch of government from creating computerized data banks containing vital data on all American citizens, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that because of our concern with the proliferation of the use of the polygraph in industry and government that we call for the protection of the rights of those employees of private or public sectors who refuse to take lie-detector tests, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we recognize that privacy in America is imperiled not only by electronic intrusion which can destroy privacy totally but by the apathy of so many Americans who seem unconcerned by the threats to liberty that have been perpetrated with the approval of the highest government leaders, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the right of privacy, like all human right, will be sustained only by the vigilance of the American citizen and his commitment to the Constitution's ideals and safeguards of human freedom and to the end of bringing about that sustained vigilance we pledge our efforts.