Target: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
Goal: Stop the National Security Agency’s mass, warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens.
The National Security Agency (NSA) has been skirting restrictions on its warrantless surveillance of American citizens by collecting huge batches of data from U.S. based telecommunications companies such as Verizon and AT&T. Congress is set to vote again in 2017 on the flimsy regulations and oversight which have allowed this violation of Americans’ rights to unfold. The Senate and House of Representatives must find a way to actually do their job and protect the privacy rights of U.S. citizens by voting for new, harsher restrictions on the NSA’s warrantless surveillance of Americans.
The NSA insists that their main focus remains on foreign communications, whether via phone or the Internet. However, when they demanded that Verizon turn over all its calling records in 2013, they clearly failed to isolate the information of American citizens from this request.
Furthermore, it has become clear via Edward Snowden’s groundbreaking whistleblowing efforts that any American mentioned in communications between foreign targets is subsequently opened up to increasingly invasive forms of surveillance. Spies are allowed to look into more detailed information related to these Americans, regardless of the context (however benign) in which they were mentioned by foreign targets. To make matters worse, the NSA has continually refused to release detailed statistics about the extent to which these activities occur with regards to U.S. citizens.
Previous attempts to increase and improve restrictions on the NSA’s warrantless surveillance of Americans have been axed at final voting sessions. This cannot happen again. Congress must find a way to stand up to the NSA and protect the privacy rights of Americans. By signing the petition below, you can help urge members of Congress to enact meaningful and effective restrictions on the NSA’s warrantless surveillance of U.S. Citizens.
Dear Speaker Ryan,
Mass, warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens by the NSA cannot be tolerated any longer. It is now public knowledge that the government has been spying relentlessly on its own people while Congress has failed to intervene. It is your job in the legislative branch to enact meaningful laws that will contribute to a real balance of power. You have failed to do this with disastrous consequences. Namely, the persistent surveillance of millions of Americans.
As the NSA continues to amass an astonishingly large trove of data from American-based companies such as Verizon, they are indiscriminately implicating many U.S. citizens under the guise of surveillance efforts supposedly directed towards foreign targets. Moreover, the lack of transparency from the NSA regarding how many Americans are actually swept up in the government’s Herculean surveillance efforts is deeply troubling.
The NSA must be stopped from violating the privacy rights of their own people. I urge you to vote for stronger restrictions on their surveillance capabilities in order to protect American citizens from warrantless surveillance.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: American Civil Liberties Union