Hey Internet, Evan here from Fight for the Future. We’re a digital rights group who you’ve probably heard from a lot on issues like net neutrality, surveillance, etc.
We just got handed a potentially historic opportunity to finally finally close the gaping loopholes in Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act that the NSA abuses to conduct warrantless dragnet surveillance of our Internet activity, email, text messages, etc.
The bipartisan Amash-Lofgren Amendment to H.R. 3055, aka the “minibus” must-pass government spending bill, would do just that. And it’s headed for a vote on the House floor as soon as tomorrow.
This Amendment was ruled “in order” which means that every member of Congress will be forced to vote on it THIS WEEK. We think we might just have enough votes, but we need everyone to CALL THEIR REPS RIGHT NOW at https://www.endgovernmentsurveillance.com
We set up a number that will automatically connect you to your reps and give you a few quick talking points for what to say: 202-759-7766
We also just got word from our friends at the ACLU that there are several other important amendments that limit government use of dangerous facial recognition surveillance. The House Rules Committee still needs to vote on whether these amendments are “in order” or not. If they are, we’ll have to scramble to flood lawmakers with phone calls to ensure they pass.
If you want to help, call the members of the House Rules Committee (ESPECIALLY if your rep sits on the committee) and tell them to allow these amendments to go to a floor vote. When you call your reps tell them to support all amendments that limit government spending on mass surveillance, including facial recognition. Summaries of the new amendments, and link to the actual text, below:
Division A – Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
Gabbard Amendment #78: Prohibits the use of funds for the purchase of body cameras that are equipped with or subjected to any facial recognition or other biometric surveillance.
Jayapal Amendment #95: Prohibits funding to be used to deploy or implement face recognition technology until certain conditions are met to uphold privacy and civil liberties.
Beyer Amendmnet #104: Bars funds from being used for state and local law enforcement agencies’ purchase or implementation of facial recognition technology.
Division E – Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
Clarke Amendment #65: Prohibits HUD from installing or using facial recognition or iris/retina scanning technology in public or assisted housing.
Tlaib-Pressley Amendment #91: States none of the funds in this Act available to the Department of Housing and Urban Development may be used to purchase, lease, or otherwise utilize facial or other biometric recognition software, hardware or system.
Tlaib-Pressley Amendment #92 :States none of the funds in this Act available to the Department of Housing and Urban Development should be appropriated to any program recipient that authorizes the purchase, lease, or other utilization of facial or other biometric recognition software, hardware or system on sites funded by the Department.