Tell your senators: End warrantless spying on Americans
  • Petitioned U.S. Senate

This petition was delivered to:

U.S. Senate

Tell your senators: End warrantless spying on Americans

    1. Sponsored by

      <span>CREDO Action</span>

Part of George W. Bush's legacy are laws that allow our government to trample our constitutional rights in the name of "national security."

First, after 9/11, there was the PATRIOT Act, which threw open the door to massive government spying. Then there was the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which gave retroactive immunity to the telecoms that aided Bush's illegal wiretapping program.

The FISA Amendments Act also allowed government spy agencies to suck up and store vast amounts of electronic information about people on foreign soil who don't enjoy the constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure afforded to American citizens.

In practice, however, loopholes in the law also allow massive amounts of warrantless spying on innocent Americans.

Progressive champion Sen. Jeff Merkley is trying to change that and rein in intelligence programs that are spying on Americans. And this week he introduced the Protect America's Privacy Act (S. 3515) to do just that.

Tell your senators: Co-sponsor Sen. Merkley's Protect America's Privacy Act to end warrantless spying on Americans.*

The FISA Amendments Act will expire unless it's renewed before the end of the year, and rather than carefully review its implications, the Senate is on track to rubberstamp its renewal.

But the simple fact is that it's deeply irresponsible to do so. Among other things, we don't even know how many Americans have been affected, and all indications are that the numbers have been massive.

In fact, when questioned by two senators on the Intelligence Committee about the number of Americans spied on "unintentionally" by the NSA, the Director of National Intelligence responded by saying that "it's not reasonably possible to identify the number of people located in the United States whose communications may have been reviewed under the authority of the [FISA Amendments Act]."

Before the FISA Amendments Act is renewed, it needs to be fixed. The best way to ensure this happens is to build support in the Senate for Sen. Merkley's Protect America's Privacy Act.

Tell your senators: Co-sponsor Sen. Merkley's Protect America's Privacy Act to end warrantless spying on Americans.

We need to back up Sen. Merkley, who is courageously standing up for our constitutional rights -- something few politicians have been willing to do in the decade since September 11.

While Merkley's bill does not repeal telecom immunity for illegal spying, restore privacy protection to library and bookstore records, end National Security Letter abuse, or roll back the worst abuses of the PATRIOT Act (all issues CREDO will continue to fight for, in addition to full repeal of the PATRIOT Act), it does make three major changes to the warrantless wiretapping program that help us end some of the abuses of the Bush era.

First, it would put stronger protections in place to ensure that spy agencies are not using this program as an indirect way to target someone in the U.S.

Second, current law allows the government to collect information in anticipation of having its request to do so approved by a special type of top-secret court. Sen. Merkley's bill would ensure that if this court decides the procedures the government is using to collect information are improper, any information collected from Americans cannot be used in a legal proceeding.

Third, the bill would establish a new process for ensuring that if security agencies determine that information is being collected on Americans, that information cannot be accessed or searched until a proper warrant is obtained.

As ACLU Legislative Counsel Michelle Richardson said:

"This bill will give the FISA Amendments Act the overhaul it so desperately needs, restraining the government from unconstitutionally collecting and using vast amounts of data about innocent Americans. These amendments would allow collection against foreigners to continue while better protecting Americans and should be considered a win-win for both the intelligence community and the Constitution."

We need to stand up for our constitutional rights and end warrantless government spying on Americans.

Sen. Merkley's bill represents the best chance of us making progress on this front this year.

Sign our petition telling your senators to co-sponsor Sen. Merkley's Protect America's Privacy Act to end warrantless spying on Americans.

*NOTE: Sens. Wyden of Oregon and Tester of Montana have signed on as co-sponsors to Sen. Merkley's bill.

To:
U.S. Senate
Co-sponsor Sen. Merkley's Protect America's Privacy Act (S. 3515) to end warrantless spying on Americans.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 150,000 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Scott Davis EDGMONT, PA
      • 6 months ago

      Right now, as of December 31, 2013, this petition is down to 155,117 signatures - it has "LOST" a total of 282 signatures since November 29, 2012 when this petition was closed by CREDO. CREDO was not the original sponsor or author of this petition. Call this situation

      to the attention of the Hon. US Senator Jeff Merkley and

      the Hon. US Representative Justin Amash. If this petition

      had not been hijacked and throttled by the NSA and their

      allies, the NDAA bill passed during the summer of 2013

      most certainly would have included the Amash Amendment.

      This military manipulation of Congress is a coup

      and it must be resisted and suppressed by the

      American people, united as one man -

      and the people in the NSA and the US military who

      are still loyal to the Oath they swore to the Constitution

      must restore the Constitution and overthrow the coup

      led by traitors such as General Keith Alexander, and

      his now assiduously outspoken predecessor

      General Michael Hayden, and the militarist narc

      who now heads the office of the US Pardon Attorney,

      Ronald L. Rodgers. All these officials and many more

      should be courts-martialed by President Obama.

      - Scott Davis

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Scott Davis EDGMONT, PA
      • 10 months ago

      Now the petition is down to 155,381 signatures.

      18 signatures have been peeled off a petition

      that is supposedly "closed".

      This should say THROTTLED by Credo, not

      "sponsored by Credo". Credo took over

      this petition. The office of US Senator

      Jeff Merkley should call for an investigation

      into every organization involved in this horrid

      petition-throttling. If not shut down during the

      30-day throttling juggernaut from October 30, 2012

      to November 29, 2012, this petition would have had

      46,458,919 signatures on it by now.

      We can easily obtain the number by

      reducing the throttling algorithms.

      Basically, it is the NSA and their

      agents who are throttling petitions.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Scott Davis EDGMONT, PA
      • 12 months ago

      Now someone sneaked another signature off this petition - it's now down to 155,388, when it closed at 155,399 - or rather, when it was SHUT DOWN - and most likely this was shut down by people in Government who believe they have a vested interest in spying on Americans. CONGRESS SHOULD INVESTIGATE THE SHUTTING DOWN OF THIS PETITION! There is no reason why this should have been closed for fourteen hours from October 30 to 31, 2012 - and no reason why only 150 signatures should have appeared on this from October 31 to November 29, 2012 when this petition was throttled down - especially when over 155,000 signatures were affixed to this from October 7, 2012 to October 30 - an average of about 7,057 signatures PER DAY, or 294 signatures per hour. The shutdown of this petition was a criminal act of political repression. Those who are responsible for this crime should be investigated and prosecuted by Congress. Congress, after all, is sworn to uphold the Constitution, including the First Amendment right to petition Government for redress of grievances, and the right to peaceably assemble. Both of those First Amendment rights were violated by the petition-throttlers.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Scott Davis EDGMONT, PA
      • 12 months ago

      Now down to 155,389 signatures. Amazing that

      TEN signatures have now been peeled off this

      supposedly "closed" petition, since it closed at

      the end of November 2012.

      This is the classic example of petition-throttling.

      It calls for an investigation by Congress,

      most imperatively - since everyone in Congress is

      sworn to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution;

      and since the First Amendment right to petition and

      to peaceably assemble for that purpose has been

      so blatantly violated here.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Scott Davis EDGMONT, PA
      • over 1 year ago

      Write or call US Senators Jeff Merkley, Jon Tester and Ron Wyden at

      202-224-3121 to get this petition re-opened and to investigate how, why and when this was throttled, and who was responsible for this, and what organization is behind petition throttling. The First Amendment prohibits petition throttling and harassment of social networkers who support petitions.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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