We’re proud to add the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition to an important initiative of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT): “We Need To Know.”
The initiative is bringing together civil liberties advocates like the ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation with major tech companies like Apple and Google in a demand to the president, key officals and key legislators that the U.S. government allow Internet and communications providers to “regularly report statistics reflecting…
- The number of government requests for information about their users made under specific legal authorities such as Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, the various National Security Letter (NSL) statutes, and others
- The number of individuals, accounts, or devices for which information was requested under each authority; and
- The number of requests under each authority that sought communications content, basic subscriber information, and/or other information
Knowing the full extent of unwarranted government surveillance isn’t enough by itself, of course — but it helps policymakers and the public get their arms around setting limits to that surveillance. CDT Senior Counsel Kevin Bankston:
“People in the intelligence agencies often talk about how important it is to limit information to those with a ‘need to know’. Well, the American people need to know, and we need to know now.”
That’s why this is also an important part of MCCRC’s petition to Congressmen Van Hollen and Delaney, demanding that the Congressmen honor our rights by…
3. Co-sponsoring and voting for legislation requiring executive agencies to report the total number of requests made to communications companies for user data and content, including what specific authorities are being used, what types of data, and the number of individuals affected by each request.
The “We Need to Know” coalition and CDT will be endorsing specific Congressional transparency bills later this week.