First of all, I’d like to encourage everyone to research this movement (and any organization which claims to be protecting your rights) to be sure you wish to support their efforts. For all you know, there could be some terrorist organization behind this trying to get Americans to relax security programs. I don’t think that is the case here because of the wide range of credible websites and companies who are supporting this movement, but please research before you put your name in the bucket.
On another hand, it is important to realize what privacy laws are and why they are important. After the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15th, 2013, the town of Watertown, Mass. was essentially placed under martial law as the manhunt for the suspected bomber took place. Police officers were given jurisdiction to enter resident’s homes in a 20-block area without warrant. Now, for my fellow ATLiens, imagine if that happened in the city of Atlanta after the Olympic park bombing in 1996. How many of us would have been perfectly happy to allow APD and untold other enforcement agencies to barge into our homes with guns and search the place?
To me, this particular movement is a step in the right direction. It may not be perfect (and even our liberal champion, President Obama may find this bill too heavy in it’s limitations) but at least it will get the ball rolling. Just like any well written legislation, it must be specific enough to address the problem, but general enough to allow for judicial interpretation in a wide variety of cases. I encourage you to visit Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner’s website and look at the USA Freedom Act yourself before sending an email or calling your congressperson.
To lend your support, click on any of the images in this post and you will be taken to The Day We Fight Back’s website where you can either send an email to your local legislator or TDWFB will provide you with a script and you can call your local legislator.
The NSA “has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world.” — The New York Times
The NSA collected “almost 3 billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks” in one month in 2013. — The Guardian
The NSA is collecting the content and metadata of emails, web activity, chats, social networks, and everything else as part of what it calls “upstream” collection. — The Washington Post
The NSA “is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans.” — The Washington Post
The NSA “is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world.” — The Washington Post
The NSA “is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans’ e-mail and text communications into and out of the country.” — The New York Times
What we can do
- The USA Freedom Act curtails NSA surveillance abuses.
- The FISA Improvements Act attempts to legalize bulk data collection of phone records.
We need to tell Congress to pass the USA Freedom Act and amend it to make it even stronger.