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.
Trump signed Congress’ bill despite studiesand security expertswho say over-collection of data runs counter to investigatory best practices and makes us less safe.
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 campaignto 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.
The U.S. Senate voted 65-34 to pass S. 139, a bill that re-authorizes the U.S. government’s mass surveillance authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, without fixing major loopholes that allow for the unconstitutional domestic spying of Americans. The bill enables agencies like the NSA 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.
Lawmakers voted to reauthorize sweeping surveillance programs despite studiesand securityexpertswho say over-collection of data runs counter to investigatory best practices and makes us less safe.
Fight for the Future plans to unleash an accountability campaign to notify constituents that take the pledge how their lawmakers voted on issues like privacy ahead of the 2018 primary and general elections. Voters can take the pledge by texting FREEDOM to 384-387.
Ahead of the vote, Laila Abdelaziz (pronouns: she/her), a campaigner with Fight for the Future, issued the following statement:
“U.S. Congress just voted to trample on liberty and advance totalitarianism. The FISA reauthorization bill that just passed turns the Internet into a powerful surveillance weapon that can be used by the government against its own citizens.
This surveillance reauthorization bill completely fails to address privacy reforms Congress promised they’d tackle, like ending the government’s warrantless domestic spying powers. Instead, the bill writes into law broad surveillance authorities that the government has repeatedly abused in the past.
The right to privacy is a cornerstone of free and open societies. We’ve launched a campaign to make sure constituents know how their lawmakers voted on this fundamental issue ahead of election day. If U.S. lawmakers violate their oath to defend the constitution, they don’t belong in office.
Once the FISA reauthorization bill goes to President Trump, he should veto it. No federal agency should have the power to unconstitutionally spy on Americans.”
The bill now goes to President Donald Trump who can veto it and demand from Congress that they instead pass a FISA reauthorization bill with sound constitutional privacy protections.
All Senate Democrats and Susan Collins (R-ME) line up to defend the free and open Internet. Only one more vote needed for CRA to pass Senate and take fight to the House, where there are already more than 80 cosponsors
Stunning lobbyists, net neutrality supporters are now one vote away from winning a Senate vote on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to overturn the FCC’s unpopular repeal of net neutrality. All 49 Senate Democrats are now co-sponsoring the move, and Susan Collins (R-ME) has saidshe plans to support it. With victory in the Senate increasingly likely, Internet activists are setting their sights on the House, where they plan to wage a fierce battle to hit the simple majority needed to force a CRA vote to the floor. Today Rep Mike Doyle (PA-14) unveiled the names of 82 original cosponsors of his CRA resolution in the House. Including Doyle, the list totals 83 and includes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, increasing the chances that House Democrats will line up behind the move. A simple majority is needed to force a vote to the floor in the House.
“The Internet is on a mission to save net neutrality, and lawmakers that stand in our way will regret it,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future. “Net neutrality is going to be an election issue in 2018 and every member of Congress knows it. The CRA is steamrolling through the Senate and into the House because lawmakers are reading the writing on the wall that it’s the only viable legislation on the table. Cleanly reversing the FCC’s unpopular and illegitimate decision is, on substance, the correct policy move, and the only one that has support from voters.”
Earlier this month, Fight for the Future announced a no holds barred campaign at VoteForNetNeutrality.comcalling on Internet users to pledge to vote against lawmakers who don’t support the CRA resolution to overturn the FCC decision and restore net neutrality protections. The fiercely nonpartisan group is hellbent on restoring net neutrality protections, and willing to target lawmakers of either party if they are not listening to constituents on this critical issue.
Millions of people have taken action in recent months, bombarding Congress with a flood of phone calls, emails, faxes, tweets, protests, letters from small businesses, and constituent meetings.
Digital rights group Fight for the Future has announced plans to crowdfund billboards ahead of the 2018 election targeting Democratic Senators who vote to reauthorize mass government spying powers under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The House voted 256-164 on Thursday to advance S. 139 which reauthorizes Section 702 for another 6 years without any meaningful reforms.
Fight for the Future plans to put up a billboard targeting Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee who opposed reinstating warrant protections for government surveillance programs that target Americans, and released a mock-upof what it might look like. The group is also promoting a chatbot tool allowing Internet users to contact their Senators by texting FREEDOM to 384-387.
Fight for the Future plans to unleash similar crowdfunded billboards targeting Senate Democrats who vote to expand and codify mass surveillance on Tuesday. It would take 41 Senators to deny cloture and temporarily halt the vote.
“The power to turn the Internet into a weapon for mass surveillance is too dangerous for any government to have, but it’s unthinkable in the hands of the Trump administration, which has clearly shown it will use these powers to target the most vulnerable people in our country,” said Laila Abdelaziz, campaigner with Fight for the Future, “Any lawmaker who votes to reauthorize and expand these unconstitutional spying powers is standing on the wrong side of history while enabling totalitarianism and mass discrimination. Constituents deserve to know when their lawmakers are not fighting for their rights but, rather, obstructing them.”
Fight for the Future has crowdfunded more than $50,000 to put up previousbillboards surrounding Internet privacy rules and net neutrality, generating widespread attention.
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.