NCAC has joined a coalition of more than 50 civil liberties, civil rights and government transparency organizations in urging Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress to include civil liberties reforms in the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020, a bill that would extend surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act which expired in March.

The coalition’s letter to Speaker Pelosi calls for support of the Wyden-Daines amendment to the bill, which prohibits the government from surveilling the internet search and browsing history of people in the United States without a warrant. The Patriot Act was never intended to allow the FBI to warrantlessly spy on our search and browsing history – and that is squarely the question before Speaker Pelosi. 

This reform is designed to stave off the kind of scandals that led to a dramatic loss of trust in United States intelligence agencies over the past two decades. The Wyden-Daines amendment would help address serious concerns among the public that civil liberties are at heightened risk during this time of crisis. This is a particular concern for the many groups that the FBI has wrongfully targeted in the past, including activists, communities of color, and the press. 

The letter is available below. We encourage everyone with an interest in privacy to contact their representatives to express support for this important amendment to the Patriot Act.

Co-signed by:

Access Now
American Booksellers for Free Expression
American Civil Liberties Union
American Family Voices
American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA)
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
Arab American Civic Council
Arab American Institute
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Democracy & Technology
Common Defense
Constitutional Alliance
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Courage California
Defending Rights & Dissent
Demand Progress
Due Process Institute
Equality Labs
Fight for the Future
Free Press Action
Free Speech Coalition
Freedom of the Press Foundation
Government Accountability Project
Government Information Watch
Human Rights Watch
Just Foreign Policy
Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library
Movement Alliance Project
MPower Change
MSA West
Muslim Justice League
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
National Coalition Against Censorship
New America’s Open Technology Institute
PEN America
People For the American Way
Poligon Education Fund
Presente Action
Progress America
Restore The Fourth
Secure Justice
Society of Professional Journalists
Union of Concerned Scientists
Yemeni Alliance Committee

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