Posted February 25, 2020, 6:35 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 24, 2020
CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-852-6457
Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act is set to expire on March 15th, but Democratic lawmakers are considering reauthorization of this intrusive and ineffective legislation. That’s right: the very same Democratic lawmakers who voted to impeach Donald Trump for abusing his power may be about to reauthorize his tremendous surveillance authority.
In response, digital rights group Fight for the Future has launched a new website calling out this hypocrisy and urging Democrats and progressives in Congress to vote against renewing the dangerous surveillance program:
Here’s the link: www.democratsforafascistdystopia.org
In its current form, Fight for the Future opposes the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act offered by the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee. We believe the PATRIOT Act should be repealed in its entirety, and that at the very least lawmakers should allow the sections that are up for reauthorization to sunset in March. We think the bipartisan Safeguarding Americans Private Records Act offers much more meaningful reform and should be the bare minimum for any lawmaker who claims to uphold the constitution and basic human rights.
“Democrats like Adam Schiff say that Donald Trump is a criminal, a tyrant, and the puppet of a foreign government. They impeached him for it. So why the hell are they working to ensure he has essentially limitless power to spy on all of our phone calls?” said Evan Greer (she/her), Deputy Director of Fight for the Future. “Democrats who vote to reauthorize these Orwellian surveillance authorities –– even if they tack on some weak reforms –– are committing the ultimate hypocrisy. They’re Democrats for a Fascist Dystopia.”
For years, US law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been collecting hundreds of millions of records on American citizens, including phone records, medical records, firearm sales records, and even library records. Yet the government’s own Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) found that the bulk data collection program was almost completely ineffective at identifying and preventing terrorism, and the NSA had to shut down its replacement mass surveillance program, known as the Call Detail Records program, after it repeatedly sucked up innocent people’s data unlawfully.
Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act was previously set to expire in December 2019, but Democrats voted overwhelmingly in favor of extending the Orwellian surveillance program for another three months. DemocratsForAFascistDystopia.org lists Democratic leadership as well as those leading committees of jurisdiction who can control upcoming votes in the House to extend Section 215 once more.
“It’s time for progressive lawmakers and Democratic leadership to live up to progressive values,” said Dayton Young (he/him), Director of Product at Fight for the Future. “These same Democrats recently impeached Donald Trump for abusing his power. Why would they trust the president and members of his corrupt administration with the power to spy on the American public – including people of color, journalists, and political activists? It doesn’t make sense. Democrats can finally put an end to this unconstitutional and dangerous surveillance program by letting Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act sunset. But do they have the guts to stand up for what they believe?”