Support Passage of Freedom Act

First Step in Securing Americans’ Privacy Rights

November 4, 2013

MPAC calls on all concerned Americans to support the USA Freedom Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI).

The bill, which will significantly limit dragnet collection of phone data and add transparent oversight over surveillance programs, has strong bipartisan support by members who initially opposed the Amash-Conyers amendment, a proposal defeated in July which would have ended mass surveillance of Americans. So far, the Freedom Act has more than 85 cosponsors between the Senate and the House.

SEE: “Freedom Act to End NSA Data Collection Introduced” (USA News & World Report)

Revelations about NSA surveillance programs, both domestic and abroad, have recently been highlighted when a wave of reports were brought to the world’s attention by former government contractor Edward Snowden.

Following the 9/11 attacks, Congress hastily voted in favor of a set of laws that would increase information sharing, enhance intelligence tools and grant sweeping policing powers without the appropriate safeguards to ensure against the type of mass surveillance taking place today.

Last week, Sensenbrenner, one of the original authors of the 2001 Patriot Act, stated: “It’s now time for the judiciary committees to again come together in a bipartisan fashion to ensure the law is properly interpreted, past abuses are not repeated and American liberties are protected. Washington must regain Americans’ trust in their government.”

The Freedom Act seeks to end blanket surveillance by:

  1. Ending bulk collection of Americans’ communications records
  2. Reforming the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
  3. Increasing transparency
  4. Ensuring a congressional transparency process over the issuance of national security letters (NSLs).

“We need real reform. Our civil liberties should not come at the expense of our national security; the notion that the two are mutually exclusive is false,” said Hoda Elshishtawy, MPAC’s National Policy Analyst. “The Freedom Act bill is just the kind of leadership our country needs to move forward in keeping America safe while preserving our protected rights.”

Action Alert:
The debate on surveillance continues with more bipartisan support than ever. Congressional responses to our current national security programs are becoming stronger and louder. Call your member of Congress today and urge them to vote in favor of the Freedom Act.

Find your member of Congress by calling the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and asking to speak to your representative. Or find your elected official by clicking here.



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