Call the House Judiciary Committee to #StopTrumpSpying
Congress is planning to introduce a bill that would reauthorize Section 215 of the Patriot Act.
Section 215 is a spying authority that allows the U.S. government to collect incredibly sensitive information about people living in the United States, like details on our phone calls, location data, medical records and financial transactions. The authority will expire at the end of the year unless Congress steps in to reauthorize it. And it seems that it plans to do just that.
We don’t want Congress to reauthorize spying under Section 215. But since it plans to, we need to make sure that the program’s most horrendous spying powers are reined in:
- Right now, political protesters can be spied on under Section 215 — and Trump’s FBI is known for targeting protesters (remember the “Black Identity Extremist” label it created to penalize racial-justice activists?).1 Congress must include First Amendment protections in its reauthorization of Section 215 so that the Trump administration isn’t able to use this invasive spying authority to track people protesting its policies.
- Section 215 has allowed government agencies to access the location data of people in the United States without a warrant. This invasive (and creepy) practice has to stop — any 215 reauthorization bill should require a warrant to obtain location data.
- There’s a loophole in the Patriot Act that allows the government to monitor the communications of people in the United States without a warrant. This is called a “backdoor search” and we need Congress to put an end to it. This must be included in the Section 215 reauthorization bill.
This bill is moving fast and we need your help to make an impact: Call leadership in the House Judiciary Committee and tell them not to reauthorize Section 215 unless they stop warrantless location tracking, add First Amendment protections and close the backdoor-search loophole.
1. “The FBI vs. Black Lives,” Free Press Action, Aug. 23, 2019