Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Time to let Section 215 of Patriot Act expire

Almost 14 years ago, the government passed a law that has been used to collect information about your most intimate communications. But we finally have a chance to stop it in the next few weeks.

Congress is set to make a crucial decision about the future of our government’s surveillance powers that will impact everyone in America, including you. It will decide whether to renew Section 215 of the Patriot Act or let it die.

Section 215, one of the worst parts of the Patriot Act, is what the NSA uses to collect virtually all of our call records – including who called whom, when, and for how long.

Along with two other parts of the law, Section 215 is set to expire on June 1st – but it won’t die without a fight. There are still those in Congress, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who want to reauthorize 215 and even extend it for five more years.

It’s time to let unconstitutional and unwarranted government surveillance die. Urge Congress to let Section 215 of the Patriot Act expire – and help restore our privacy.

Under Section 215, the NSA has records on your phone conversations – with your mom, your boss, and even your therapist – whether or not you’ve done something wrong.

The call records program was the first of Edward Snowden’s disclosures, and it sparked a much-needed debate about the failures of government oversight. Since then, the program has been declared unconstitutional by a district court and ineffective by a review panel appointed by the president himself.

Even the legislator who wrote the Patriot Act believes the surveillance is unlawful and the NSA’s use of Section 215 is intrusive in ways never intended by Congress.

Why would we agree to give this law five more years?

Tell Congress that we all want common-sense limits on the government spying – rather than automatic and unconstrained expansion.

The automatic expiration date on Section 215 and other parts of the Patriot Act was put in place for a reason.

It’s time to put an end to some of the most unlawful, ineffective, and far-reaching government surveillance in American history.
It’s time for Section 215 to fade into history.

Thanks for taking action,

Anthony Romero
American Civil Liberties Union

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