The House of Representatives just voted 256 - 164 to pass S. 139, a bill that re-authorizes the U.S. government’s mass surveillance authorities under the FISA Amendments Act without fixing major loopholes that allow for unconstitutional domestic spying. The bill enables agencies like the NSA to collect and store massive amounts of information about innocent people without warrants or basic privacy protections.
The controversial vote comes minutes after the House voted to slash a bipartisan amendment offered by Representative Justin Amash that included common sense reforms to close the so-called "backdoor search" loophole and restore Fourth Amendment protections.
Following the vote, Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future (pronouns: she/her), issued the following statement:
Mass government surveillance makes all of us less safe, not more safe.
Today, lawmakers from both parties failed to uphold the U.S. Constitution and voted to trample Internet freedom and human rights by reauthorizing ineffective and illegal domestic spying powers.
It’s an authoritarian government’s wet dream, and a nightmare for all those who believe in basic liberty, due process, and freedom of expression.
The 26 Democrats who voted to hand the Trump administration this authority, one day after disturbing immigration raids across the country, should be ashamed.
Now it’s up to the Senate to listen to security experts, civil liberties advocates, and the majority of voters from both parties, and vote to stop these illegal and dangerous government spying programs.
In recent days, a growing cross-partisan coalition of civil liberties, civil rights, and transparency organizations joined forces to support Representative Justin Amash’s (R-MI) bipartisan amendment to end the warrantless surveillance of innocent Americans. Thousands of Americans called, emailed, and tweeted their representatives urging them to fight for our rights and security and end unconstitutional domestic spying programs.
Next, the fight shifts to the Senate where a bipartisan group of Senators are already publicly stating they will filibuster the bill, as it does not include Fourth Amendment protections for innocent Americans.