Many were shocked to learn that the U.S. indiscriminately vacuums up the communications of millions of innocent people – both around the world and at home – through surveillance programs under Section 702, originally enacted by the FISA Amendments Act. This warrantless, suspicionless surveillance violates established privacy protections, including the Fourth Amendment.
The U.S. government uses Section 702 to justify the collection of the communications of innocent people overseas and in the United States by tapping into the cables that carry domestic and international Internet communications through what’s known as Upstream surveillance. The government also forces major U.S. tech companies to turn over private communications stored on their servers through a program often referred to as PRISM or Downstream. While the programs under Section 702 are theoretically aimed at foreigners outside the United States, they constantly collect Americans’ communications with no meaningful oversight from the courts.
These programs are a gross violation of Americans’ constitutional rights. Communicating with anyone who is potentially located abroad does not invalidate your Fourth Amendment protections.
A bill, recently passed by the House of Representatives, could extend NSA spying powers for the next six years, allowing the NSA to continue its practice of sweeping up Americans’ emails, chat logs and browsing history without a warrant.
Tell your Senators that the bill—S. 139—fails to protect your constitutional rights to privacy. Before a scheduled Tuesday vote, tell your Senator to reject S. 139.