The Senate and unconstitutional NSA spying

CREDO action
Tell Senator Grassley: We need real reform of the NSA, not Senator Feinstein's sham bill

The petition reads:
"The NSA's mass surveillance programs are unconstitutional and need to be reined in. Please oppose Senator Feinstein's FISA Improvements Act, which is reform in name only and does nothing to stop the rampant violations of our rights by the NSA and other agencies."

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Dear 5849376,

Don't let the NSA spy on us

A federal judge ruled yesterday that the National Security Administration's dragnet collecting information on nearly all U.S. telephone calls is likely unconstitutional. But meanwhile in Congress, our representatives are moving to consolidate the NSA's power to spy on Americans without a warrant.

More than a dozen NSA reform bills have been introduced - but appallingly, only one has the support of the Obama administration. And it's the one that doesn't actually rein in the NSA.1

The bill, introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and deceptively named the FISA Improvements Act, would codify the worst of the NSA's bulk collection programs while hypocritically touting itself as real, meaningful reform.

Tell Senator Grassley: We need real reform of the NSA, not the fake fix Senator Feinstein is proposing. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

The bill has already passed through committee and may see a vote as early as January – and given it has the support of the president, our best chance to stop it is in the Senate.

The FISA Improvements Act is an attempt to codify approval of current NSA programs under the guise of real reform. This is a step backwards, not forwards. Defeating Sen. Feinstein's bill is a fight we can win. There is support on both sides of the aisle for reining in the NSA. And if we can convince progressive Democrats to join with libertarian leaning Republicans to oppose this bill, we can kill it in the Senate.

The language of Sen. Feinstein's bill is intentionally misleading. She claims that the bill prohibits "the collection of bulk communication records under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act except under specific procedures and restrictions set forth in the bill" or "the bulk collection of content of communications under section 215." 2

But in reality, the "specific procedures" mirror the decisions of the FISA Court that has approved bulk collection of records, and section 215 isn't even the primary program used by the NSA to collect the content of communications.

Tell Senator Grassley: Oppose Senator Feinstein's FISA Improvements Act. It's fake reform that perpetuates NSA spying, while purporting to reform it. Click here to automatically sign the petition.

The good news is that people aren't being fooled – Sen. Feinstein's approval rating just hit the lowest point it's ever been during her two decades in the Senate, and it's largely because of her defense of the NSA spying programs.3

But that hasn't swayed Sen. Feinstein's defense of the NSA, and her bill is moving quickly. We need as many senators as possible on our side to make sure her fake fix doesn't ever become law, entrenching the NSA's unconstitutional spying. This federal court decision gives us momentum. But what can sway senators to vote against this bill is hearing from constituents like you.

Tell Senator Grassley: We want an end to unconstitutional spying. Vote against the deceptively named FISA Improvement Act introduced by Sen. Feinstein. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:

Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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Learn more about this campaign

  1. "State of Deception: Why won't the President rein in the intelligence community?" Ryan Lizza, the New Yorker, Dec 16, 2013
  2. "Feinstein Releases Fake NSA Reform Bill, Actually Tries To Legalize Illegal NSA Bulk Data Collection", Mike Masnick, Tech Dirt, Oct. 31, 2013
  3. "Why Feinstein's approval is sinking in new poll", Joe Garofoli, SF Chronicle, Dec. 14, 2013

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