Tell Congress: Stop Scapegoating Protesters to Expand Racist, Warrantless Mass Surveillance

In their latest attempt to expand surveillance on Americans, lawmakers are pointing to the wave of pro-ceasefire protests in solidarity with the people of Gaza as reasoning for keeping open the backdoor search loophole within Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Over 100 grassroots, racial justice, privacy, and civil rights advocacy organizations have come together to combat weaponizing this kind of rhetoric, which has been historically used against activists and movement workers.

On February 15, Congress attempted to hold the 5th secret session in 2 centuries to hide from accountability to the American public and expand the warrantless surveillance regime that Edward Snowden exposed. INSTEAD, it was delayed due to public outcry. But government surveillance hawks continue to make the case for expanded abuses of our private personal data and conversations—and against modest reforms that would protect us all from warrantless government intrusions, in favor of surveilling racial justice organizations and activists. 

We have to ACT NOW. Call your representative and demand they vote to END BACKDOOR SEARCH & DATA BROKER LOOPHOLES, and BLOCK ALL EXPANSIONS OF FISA.


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Introduce yourself, be polite, and say:

“Hi, I’m calling today to demand that your office protect constituents and protestors from mass surveillance by shutting the backdoor search and data broker loopholes before considering any reauthorization of Section 702 of FISA. As an American concerned about free speech and protests, I strongly reject any use of anti-immigrant, anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab, and anti-Muslim racism by congressional members to justify keeping the backdoor-search loophole in Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). We urge your office to prioritize the protection of our constituents by closing the backdoor search and data broker loopholes before any reauthorization of Section 702 of FISA is considered, which means supporting amendments from the House Judiciary Committee, and to publicly oppose craven amendments from the the Intelligence Committee, namely Mike Turner and Jim Himes, who are instead trying to sneak through expansions of warrantless spying, including surveilling all immigrants.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. I believe that by taking a stand against mass surveillance and discrimination, we can create a safer and more just society for all.”

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What’s wrong with 702?

Despite clear opposition from civil rights, immigrant, and racial justice groups, Congressional Leadership is eager to expand its discriminatory surveillance program, FISA’s Section 702. Section 702’s abuses were exposed by Edward Snowden. It is used to surveil journalists, activists, politicians, and immigrant communities, among others. 

The important reforms are these: 

  1. Closing the Section 702 backdoor search loophole, through which the CIA, FBI, and NSA routinely search billions of international communications — obtained without a warrant based on the government’s certification that it is targeting only non-U.S. persons located overseas — to read Americans’ phone calls, text messages, and emails. The amendment would require the government to get a warrant or FISA Title I order before searching for Americans’ communications.
  2. Closing the data broker loophole, which a rapidly growing number of law enforcement and intelligence agencies use to buy sensitive Fourth Amendment-protected information about Americans without a warrant. These agencies should not be able to buy their way around legal privacy protections.