Donald Trump just signed S. 139, a bill that re-authorizes the U.S. government’s mass surveillance authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The controversial bill fails to fix major loopholes that allow for the unconstitutional domestic spying of Americans’ online communications. Now, the NSA will be able to continue collecting and storing massive amounts of information about innocent people without warrants or basic privacy protections for 6 more years. S. 139 also writes into law a controversial pathway to reinstate "abouts" collection, which is currently, in effect, illegal.
Following Trump’s signing of the bill, Laila Abdelaziz (pronouns: she/her), a campaigner with Fight for the Future, issued the following statement:
Our democracy is broken. And now that Trump has signed a bill expanding Orwellian domestic spying powers, the most powerful and corrupt officials will have the tools to ensure that our democracy remains broken, and target those who try to fix it.
For 6 more years, millions of Internet users will have to use the web in fear, knowing that the NSA is storing their Internet communications in massive databases for law enforcement agencies like the FBI to peruse, without needing probable cause or a court-ordered warrant to do so.
A government that spies on its own citizens will certainly abuse this power and use it against independent thinkers, disenfranchised communities, political opponents, and dissidents. But a government that spies on its own citizens is also a government that shows that it is afraid of its own citizens.
This government should be afraid. Millions from across the political spectrum are outraged, and becoming more active and aware every day. In the end, freedom will prevail."
Fight for the Future has launched an accountability campaign to notify constituents how their lawmakers voted on fundamental issues like privacy ahead of the 2018 primary and general elections. Voters can take the pledge by texting FREEDOM to 384-387.