News Release

Left-Right Uniting Against More Government Surveillance

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Mich.) tweeted Wednesday: “As soon as tomorrow [Thursday], Congress will vote to expand a warrantless surveillance program. Without serious reform, this bill — S. 139 — will further erode our constitutional rights of privacy, especially for communities of color.”

Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation tweeted: “[Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)] was *just* on the Sunday shows claiming Trump was misusing the Justice Dept. to go over his enemies. But plans on voting to extend FBI/NSA surveillance powers.” Timm notes that Rep Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been silent on the matter.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) tweeted: “#Section702 enables massive, warrantless spying on Americans. I’m joining [Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.)] and [Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)] and a bipartisan group of House and Senate colleagues to speak out in support of FISA reform.”

NEEMA SINGH GULIANI,  nguliani at aclu.org
Neema Singh Guliani is legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office, focusing on surveillance, privacy, and national security issues. The group’s letter on the legislation states: “S.139 is not reform. It risks codifying illegal practices that have been used to collect purely domestic communications and fails to meaningfully restrict the use of Section 702 to spy on Americans without a warrant.”

JEFF LANDALE, jefflandale at thexlab.org, @JeffLandale
Landale is with X-Lab. He said today: “One overlooked aspect of the debate is that people who began using Tor or VPNs in large numbers after Congress voted to allow Internet Service Providers to sell their browsing history to advertisers are likely being targeted under Section 702 — and that’s just one of the loopholes NSA uses to turn this authority inward to spy on Americans.

“Additionally, the reauthorization bill being voted on … (S. 139) actually makes it easier for the FBI to access Americans’ communications collected under Section 702 when they have no suspicion of wrongdoing than if they have probable cause, flipping the Fourth Amendment upside down.”

He notes that Demand Progress and FreedomWorks “put together a rebuttal of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s one-pager on the USA RIGHTS Act, which is being offered as an amendment to the 702 expansion bill” — see it here.