News Release

Left and Right Teaming up for Surveillance State Repeal Act

The Daily Caller reports in “House Revives Bill To Completely Repeal The Patriot Act, Dismantle NSA Spying,” that: “Some of the strongest reforms to the U.S. national security apparatus ever introduced in Congress were revived Tuesday by a pair of congressmen in the House of Representatives.

“Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan and Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie announced in a press release their intention to reintroduce the Surveillance State Repeal Act — a bill first introduced following the Snowden leaks in 2013 that would completely repeal the Patriot Act and the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, as well as introduce reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

“The bill would legally dismantle the National Security Agency’s most aggressive surveillance programs, including the bulk collection and retention of virtually all Americans’ landline phone records justified under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. The repeal of the 2008 FISA Amendments Act would also prevent the agency from tapping the physical infrastructure of the Internet, such as undersea fiber cables, to intercept ‘upstream’ data in bulk, which critics including the ACLU claim the NSA uses to collect data on Americans.”

SHAHID BUTTAR, media at, @bordc@sheeyahshee
Executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Buttar spoke at a briefing yesterday at the Capitol on this subject. He said today: “The Surveillance State Repeal Act, HR 1466, represents a profound challenge by members of Congress from across the political spectrum fed up with the national security establishment and its continuing assault on our Constitution.

“Most policymakers forget the 9/11 commission’s most crucial finding: the intelligence community’s failures that enabled the 9/11 attacks were not failures of limited data collection, but rather failures of data sharing and analysis. Over the last 15 years, Congress has allowed the agencies to expand their collection capacities, solving an imaginary problem while creating a host of real threats to U.S. national security far worse than any act of rogue violence: the specter of state omniscience, immune from oversight and accountability, and thus vulnerable to politicization.

“This was among the fears of which President Eisenhower warned us in his farewell address.”

PATRICK EDDINGTON, Peddington at, @pgeddington
Eddington is a policy analyst at the CATO Institute and also spoke at the briefing organized by Reps. Pocan and Massie. Eddington just wrote the piece “Legislators move against mass surveillance” for The Hill, which states: “In renewing the fight to reform America’s surveillance practices, Massie and Pocan have the clock on their side. Three existing provisions of the PATRIOT Act are due to expire on June 1st, and executive branch officials are once again fear mongering about the prospect, especially since Congress will adjourn on May 22 for a long Memorial Day recess that will run beyond the provisions’ expiration date. Civil liberties advocates argue that all three provisions should be allowed to expire, especially Sec. 215 of the PATRIOT Act, which was the source of the metadata mass surveillance program exposed by Snowden.

“The pressure of that looming expiration date provides an opening for Massie, Pocan and other surveillance reformers to force real changes in surveillance law through Congress. In making the attempt, they will not only have to deal with reluctant colleagues in both chambers, but a U.S. intelligence community and federal law enforcement leadership that is even now still seeking to weaken basic internet security standards in the name of ‘national security.’ One of the most important public battles over the issue of security versus surveillance is about to begin.”