The NSA has far too much power to spy on innocent Americans without any meaningful oversight.
It's gotten so bad that even one of the original ultra-conservative authors of the Patriot Act, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, joined with progressive stalwart Rep. John Conyers and Senator Patrick Leahy in introducing a bipartisan NSA reform bill.
This bill, which they named the USA Freedom Act, would end the bulk collection of Americans' telephone records and provide a modest measure of needed transparency to the use of National Security Letters and other forms of warrantless wiretapping.
It's a good first step, and we need to show the House and the Senate that there's popular support for Congress starting the process of restoring our constitutional rights.
Sign our petition telling Congress to Rein in the NSA to stop its unconstitutional spying.
Let's be clear. We support the full repeal of the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act. The only legislative vehicle for that is Rep. Rush Holt’s Surveillance State Repeal Act, which we will continue to fight for.
But until we succeed in repealing the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act, we should support anything that will start the process of reining in the NSA without making anything worse.
The Sensenbrenner-Leahy bill is a good move in that direction. It will at the very least stop the kind of bulk surveillance dragnets that allows the government to spy on millions of Americans who are not suspected of any wrongdoing. And it will take a minor step toward transparency by allowing companies to disclose the number of requests they get from the government that force them to turn over the private information of their users and customers without a court order and under a gag.
It's important to note that this is far less than what we truly need to rein in the NSA. But it's a good start. The bill preserves much of the status quo. Let's remember, the problem of overbroad and unconstitutionally intrusive government surveillance is so vast that even the president didn't know that the U.S. was tapping the phones of allied world leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
But while the Sensenbrenner-Leahy bill is a good first step, the same cannot be said for the bill proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein, which in the name of reform would simply codify the ability of the government to spy on innocent Americans without doing anything to prevent the rampant abuses that have become routine practices of a rogue NSA and other intelligence agencies.
That's why we're asking Congress to support Rep. Sensenbrenner and Sen. Leahy’s USA Freedom Act, and oppose Senator Feinstein's sham bill which is meant to make the public think oversight is being strengthened over the NSA when there will be no meaningful reform established in the legislation.
Tell Congress: Rein in the NSA to stop its unconstitutional spying. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:
Thank you for taking a stand against unconstitutional government spying.