The United States Congress is wrapping up its year-end business with tax and spending bills, but we’ve learned of a major threat to the privacy of everyone on the internet. If we don’t act quickly, then all our efforts to reform overbroad surveillance could be set back a decade — literally.
Take action to the right by helping to spread the word and tweeting to your members of Congress to end warrantless surveillance!
The U.S. government operates warrantless surveillance programs like PRISM and Upstream with authority in Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. It allows for extremely invasive practices targeting innocent people, especially those who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and has a long history of abuse. That provision is set to expire at the end of the year.
Our friends in Congress have told us that, rather than holding a serious debate over whether to continue these programs, congressional leaders may be planning to push through language to extend and even expand this warrantless surveillance this week.
They can only do this if people are not paying attention! That’s why we urgently need to call attention to this issue and demand an end to warrantless surveillance. TWEET NOW.
There are currenlty five different bills in the House and Senate that reform Section 702 in various ways. We’ve analyzed all of them, and frankly, none of them are good enough. We think this authority should expire and these programs should end.
However, some of the proposals are far worse than others. And a few do have some positive aspects — for example, two bills recognize the importance of non-discrimination regarding the rights of people outside the United States. On the other hand, one Senate bill actually expands the U.S. government’s surveillance authorities and makes sure we won’t have another chance at reform until 2025!
The bottom line is this: we need to spread the word. Congress can only hide this surveillance expansion if no one is paying attention. We need to tell them that we are watching and we demand an end to warrantless surveillance.