Don't reauthorize the PATRIOT Act

CREDO action
Tell Congress: Don't reauthorize the PATRIOT Act

Tell Congress:
"Oppose the USA FREEDOM Act, which would reauthorize the worst sections of the PATRIOT Act, fail to end mass surveillance, legalize currently illegal surveillance activities, and grant immunity to corporations that collaborate to violate privacy rights."

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►

Dear 5849376,

It's been almost two years since Edward Snowden brought public attention to the breathtaking scope of President Obama's indiscriminate spying on American citizens – but Congress has done nothing to rein in our out-of-control secret intelligence agencies.‬ And now there are identical bills in the House and the Senate that could effectively reauthorize the PATRIOT Act without fixing the worst constitutional abuses by the NSA.1

We can't let Congress effectively reauthorize the PATRIOT Act for an additional four years, legalize currently illegal surveillance activities, and grant immunity to corporations that collaborate to violate privacy rights.

But that's exactly what the deceptively named USA FREEDOM Act would do. That's why groups like CREDO, PCCC and Demand Progress are joining with whistleblowers like William Binney, Kirk Wiebe and Thomas Drake to oppose reauthorization of PATRIOT Act Section 215 via the USA Freedom Act.2

Tell Congress: Oppose the USA FREEDOM Act, which would reauthorize the PATRIOT Act. Click here to sign the petition.

If Congress does nothing, dangerous sections of the PATRIOT Act will expire, including Section 215, which has been exploited by the government to conduct unconstitutional warrantless mass surveillance on Americans accused of no crimes.

Under incredible public pressure, the White House and surveillance agencies have telegraphed acquiescence to minimal reforms in exchange for extension of Section 215. These minimal reforms are a trojan horse, and the legislation proposed could eviscerate numerous court challenges to lawless surveillance and provide for legal immunization and compensation of companies that provide the government with customers' private information, even where that company knows it is unlawful.

The USA FREEDOM Act, as written, has significant potential to make the current status quo for unconstitutional surveillance worse, not better. This is unacceptable. The modest changes within this bill fail to truly reform mass surveillance, of Americans and others, conducted under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 and Executive Order 12333.

Like they have repeatedly in the past, the NSA and other intelligence agencies will do everything in their power to evade the modest restrictions in the USA FREEDOM Act and torture the English language to find justifications for ever more-expansive surveillance. That's exactly what the NSA did with Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act to justify its telephone records dragnet.

And because Congressional leadership and the House and Senate Intelligence committees are totally unable or unwilling to provide meaningful oversight of our spy agencies, we won't even find out about the NSA's new schemes until another whistleblower surfaces in 10 or 20 years.

At best, even if faithfully implemented, the current bill will erect limited barriers to only one of three known legal justifications for the unconstitutional, dragnet surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers. Given intelligence agencies' eagerness to subvert any attempts by Congress to rein in massive surveillance programs by changing the legal authorities under which they operate, the modest, proposed changes are no reform at all.

Tell Congress: Oppose the USA FREEDOM Act, which would reauthorize the PATRIOT Act. Click here to sign the petition.

CREDO supports Reps. Mark Pocan and Thomas Massie and their Surveillance State Repeal Act. A true reform bill, it would fully repeal the PATRIOT Act, the FISA Amendments Act, and Executive Order 12333 – all of which are used to justify mass surveillance against Americans – and create important protections for whistleblowers.

And even if that important bill were passed, more would need to be done to create real accountability for the NSA, the FBI, the CIA and other secret intelligence agencies that routinely violate our civil liberties.

If Congress can't pass the Surveillance State Repeal Act, it should simply allow the worst parts of the PATRIOT Act to expire. Passing the USA FREEDOM Act would fail to stop mass surveillance and would send America's secret intelligence agencies a clear message that they will never face accountability for breaking the law to spy on Americans. What's more, it would allow pro-surveillance members of Congress to blunt momentum for further reform by claiming that they'd fixed the problem, even though the bill only moderately restricts one of several laws abused by the government to spy on Americans.

We have to act quickly. With the PATRIOT Act provisions set to expire on June 1, this fight will move very rapidly. Please take action today. Click the link below to sign the petition:

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/usa_freedom_2015?t=7&akid=14178.3291973._4qZc2

Thank you for taking action.

Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►

1. David Kravets, " The good, bad, and the ugly of pending congressional surveillance bills," Ars Technica, April 29, 2015
2. Steven Nelson, "NSA Whistleblowers Oppose Freedom Act, Endorse Long-Shot Bill," U.S. News & World Report, April 27, 2015


FB Share on Facebook
Post to your wall
Tw Tweet this
Post to Twitter
© 2015 CREDO. All rights reserved.

To change your email or mailing address, please click here: https://act.credoaction.com/me/update/?t=17&akid=14178.3291973._4qZc2

To remove yourself from this list, please visit our subscription management page at: http://act.credoaction.com/cms/unsubscribe/unsubscribe/?t=19&akid=14178.3291973._4qZc2

RSS

Every attentive adulthood, as it were, parts its good humoured dog, but it is the outrageous dew of

Free Borkistan