YOUR right to privacy

January 11, 2018

The federal government should not be allowed to spy on the American public. Yet, this week, the House considered legislation that provides our government with broad authority to violate the basic civil rights and privacy of Americans.

The legislation (S. 139) extends Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)—a provision that allows for the warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens. Though originally aimed at collecting the communications of foreign targets located overseas by the NSA, Americans' emails and phone calls can be swept up in the process.

This is WRONG. We need surveillance reform.

S. 139 fails to restrict surveillance in any meaningful way. I voted NO—just as I voted NO on the USA PATRIOT Act in 2001.

In fact, I joined Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) to offer the USA RIGHTS Act amendment to S. 139 that would make several critical changes to the way the government runs its surveillance programs. The USA Rights Act – a bill introduced by Sen. Wyden in the Senate – modifies Section 702 to help end backdoor, warrantless searches on Americans. It also ensures that individuals receive notice when Section 702 information is used against them. Despite broad bipartisan support, the House failed to pass these important reforms. 
Americans demand and deserve protection of their rights. This can be accomplished while providing the means necessary for our intelligence community to do its job.

Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress