NCAC has joined a coalition of 36 organizations led by the ACLU, FreedomWorks, and Demand Progress, to urge Congress to reform the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020, a bill that would extend provisions of the Patriot Act which expired in March and pose unprecedented threats to Americans’ civil liberties. 

These provisions include the controversial “lone wolf” and “roving wiretap” authorities. The coalition’s letter calls for support of privacy-protection amendments to the bill, which were introduced by Senators Lee, Leahy, Paul, Wyden, and Daines. These amendments are both meaningful and extremely reasonable. 

Senators Lee and Leahy’s amendment strengthens the role of independent, expert advisors to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which authorizes the government to conduct electronic surveillance, physical search, and other forms of investigative actions. Senators Daines and Wyden’s amendment prohibits warrantless surveillance of people in the United States’ internet search and browsing history. Senator Paul’s amendment prohibits the use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) against people in the United States or in proceedings against them. It also makes clear that if the government wants to surveil a US citizen, they must have a warrant. 

The full letter is available below, co-signed by a wide range of organizations that advocate for civil liberties, racial and ethnic justice, and government transparency. We encourage all those with an interest in privacy to read it fully and contact their representatives to voice their opinions.

Co-signed by:

Access Now | American Booksellers for Free Expression | American Civil Liberties Union | Americans for Prosperity | Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law | Center for Security, Race and Rights | Constitutional Alliance Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) | Defending Rights & Dissent | Demand Progress | Due Process Institute | Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) | Free Press Action | FreedomWorks | Government Accountability Project | Government Information Watch | Human Rights Watch | Liberty Coalition | Media Alliance | National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) | National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) | National Coalition Against Censorship | Oakland Privacy | PEN America | People Demanding Action | People For the American Way | Progress America | Public Citizen | Restore The Fourth | Secure Justice | South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) | TechFreedom | The Project for Privacy and Surveillance Accountability | Union of Concerned Scientists | Woodhull Freedom Foundation X-Lab

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