Christopher Calabrese is the legislative counsel for privacy-related issues in the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington Legislative Office (WLO). Prior to joining the WLO, Calabrese served as project counsel to the ACLU Technology & Liberty Project (TLP). As legislative counsel, Calabrese leads the office's advocacy efforts related to privacy and the responsible use of technology, developing proactive strategies on pending federal legislation and executive branch actions concerning data collection, surveillance, and identification systems.
Calabrese is currently working to prevent a National ID system in the U.S., protect workers against the damaging impact of a national electronic employment verification system, and battle data collection practices by the government and private sector that could lead to the creation of a surveillance society. Key areas of concern range from the collection and storage of medical and financial information, Internet surfing habits, and travel patterns to government watch lists and state fusion centers.
Calabrese has appeared on several media outlets, including CBS Evening News, Fox News and National Public Radio, discussing technology and privacy issues, and he has been quoted in a variety of publications including the New York Times, Washington Post and Associated Press.
In addition to his lobbying and communications outreach, Calabrese has led several ACLU campaigns including opposing state implementation of the Real ID Act, urging state public utility commissions to investigate telecommunications companies’ illegal cooperation with the National Security Agency, and ending law enforcement’s use of commercial databases and datamining as part of the Multi-State Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange (MATRIX) program. Calabrese has also initiated Freedom of Information Act requests and provides legal guidance on the impact of new technologies on civil liberties.
Before joining the ACLU in 2004, Calabrese served as the Legal Counsel to the Massachusetts Senate Majority Leader, Linda J. Melconian. In that capacity, he helped draft the Massachusetts Genetic Anti-Discrimination and Privacy Law and a number of other measures aimed at preserving individual rights.
Calabrese is a graduate of Harvard University and holds a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.