The Senate and House have gutted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA. It's the law that gave real teeth to due process and privacy rights by checking the executive’s authority to spy on Americans. But Congress has expanded the administration’s ability to spy on Americans, overseas and at home, and without warrants.
Why? They caved to White House threats and pressure! That's why Congress must make fixing their unheroic error a top priority when they reconvene in September. Tell your Representative and Senators to stand up to White House fear mongering and abuse of power.
Click here to read more about FISA and its gutting.
Once again, it seems that Congress has caved in to threats and pressure from the White House. Everyone, and certainly every member of Congress, supports wiretapping terrorists, but we are no longer fooled by fear into handing over our due process and privacy rights to President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and others.
The changes to FISA greenlight the government to spy on any communication that travels outside the United States, including phone calls and emails from Americans at home to other Americans abroad. And the judicial review still in place is virtually empty, practically ineffective, and essentially meaningless.
Enacted in response to Nixon’s abuses, and updated repeatedly, FISA has always managed to strike a reasonable balance between intelligence needs and privacy rights. Now we feel betrayed as Americans who elected a new Congress to block further abuse of power, not promote it by gutting privacy protections. That's why you must make fixing this disheartening error your first priority!
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