Washington, D.C. | www.adc.org | June 1, 2015 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) applauds the work of civil rights organizations, congressional members and ADC constituents that demanded an end to the dragnet surveillance and spying provisions that were allowed under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act.
At midnight on June 1, 2015, Section 215 of the Patriot Act expired, or “sunset” according to the Congressional jargon.
ADC strongly opposed Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which gave the FBI and the NSA broad power to spy on innocent Americans without a warrant. It also allowed the FBI and NSA to collect the phone records of millions of Americans. This use of Section 215 is in direct conflict with the ruling of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in ACLU v. Clapper, which stated that Congress did not authorize the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect staggering amounts of information of from U.S. citizens by secretly monitoring their phone records.
The USA Freedom Act (H.R. 2048) does not sufficiently protect our Constitutional Rights.
Now, the USA Freedom Act (H.R. 2048) is improperly being promoted as legislation that will end the mass bulk data collection that was authorized under Section 215. In actuality, the USA Freedom Act would provide the NSA with the statutory authority by Congress to engage in the mass collection of U.S. citizens’ data.
Warrantless searches without probable cause and mass surveillance persist through the use of multiple, NSA-supplied “special selection terms” under the USA Freedom Act. The “specific selection term” (SST) definition fails to address loopholes in language such as “physical or electronic address.” These ambiguities could be used to collect data on millions of Americans where IP address serves many people. Additionally,bulk data collection continues under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and under Executive Order 12333.
Serious concerns of transparency, privacy rights, and accountability also remain. While the government is required to estimate the number of unique identifiers collected, the government is not required to report the number of Americans affected by Section 702 and FISA databases.
We need substantive surveillance reform, and the current draft of the USA Freedom Act that passed in the House is not it. We must urge the Senate to support substantive surveillance reform, including the Paul-Wyden Senate Amendment to the USA Freedom Act.
Take Action: Click here and enter your zip code to tell your Senators to protect our privacy rights and civil liberties by passing substantive surveillance reform!
Register Today to Join ADC’s 35th Anniversary National Convention!
Join ADC in Celebrating 35 years of commitment to civil rights (1980-2015) at this year’s ADC National Convention.
June 11th-14th, 2015
Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel