Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Don't let your member of Congress renew the Patriot Act

Some of the worst bills on mass surveillance to ever cross congressional lines are being rushed to passage in a few hours. Congress is moving to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act for several more years and strengthen it so they can monitor even more of our lives.

Just a few days ago, a federal appeals court ruled that the NSA's use of the PATRIOT Act to monitor our phone calls is illegal. And with the PATRIOT Act set to expire this month, we've never, ever had a chance like we do right now to end it. NSA maximalists are in defense mode and secretly met with Congress just last night!

That's why Congress’ attempt to pull a fast one and cement mass surveillance into law is just waiting to get trounced on. All of the outrage and energy from the Snowden revelations can help us take these bills down. This is the opportunity we've been waiting for. But if we don't do it now, we will lose our strength and we won't have another chance for some time.

Now's our time. Don't let your member of Congress renew the PATRIOT Act.

Even the PATRIOT Act's original author, Rep. Sensenbrenner, is calling for the bill to expire because it has been so twisted and abused. Congress never intended to allow the NSA to conduct surveillance on everyone, and we shouldn’t let the NSA’s illegal interpretation of the law become the new normal. Especially because investigations of these programs make it clear they don't make us safer. But corrupt, power-hungry voices in Congress want to protect the NSA by passing an extension to override the recent court ruling and legitimize the NSA’s behavior.

As you read this, the people who benefit from mass surveillance are working to squelch any momentum for reform. If we let them do that, they'll be able to use their power to chill free thought and free expression, undermining the basic principles of our Constitution, for a long, long time.

This is our opening but we have to act fast as the most corrupt politicians in Congress, like Mitch McConnell, are going to try to pull every trick they can to preserve and extend their unchecked powers.

Stop Congress from reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act and passing laws that make mass spying even worse.

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