Letter to Congress: Do Your Job and Curb Domestic Spying

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act enables law enforcement to spy on Americans.

It’s time for Congress to act!

Over two dozen civil rights and civil liberties groups sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee asking for common sense reforms to curb improper spying on law-abiding Americans and to “enhance protections of fundamental privacy, due process, and civil rights.”

The letter points out that Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has been used to collect information on Americans despite the fact that it “was passed to combat threats from hostile foreign powers and international terrorism, and was not intended for domestic law enforcement investigation of U.S. persons for matters unrelated to foreign intelligence.”

We know Section 702 powers have been abused.  But we don’t know how many Americans have had their nomination scooped up by the FBI. Or the number of times the NSA spied on peaceful groups in Montgomery County, individuals pursuing constitutionally protected political goals, or the former lovers of NSA personnel or government contractors?

Congress needs to takes action to fulfill its oversight responsibilities by investigating and determining answers to these questions.

The American Civil Liberties Union, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee,  Brennan Center for Justice, Color of Change, Defending Rights and Dissent, and NAACP were among the two dozen signatories to the letter.

Learn more about Section 702 here.

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