It's been three years since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on mass surveillance. In spite of broad public outcry and plenty of evidence that these programs don't make us more safe, the "intelligence" agencies are still violating our privacy rights and spying on Americans (and non-Americans on American soil) without warrants.
We have a chance to fight back this week: There's an amendment that's about to come up for a vote in the House of Representatives that would:
1) Ban the NSA from conducting "backdoor" searches of their databases information about Americans, and
2) Ban the NSA from mandating that private companies add backdoors to the encryption standards that are in place to keep technology users safe from malicious data thefts.
This amendment has passed in the House the last two years, but leadership has killed it by ripping it out of the omnibus spending bills. Now's the time for another show of force, as we try to get it all the way through once and for all.
Click here to tell Congress you want this done.
The NSA targets communications of foreign people -- non-U.S. citizens who are abroad -- without warrants. But as the Guardian noted in 2013, when the backdoor search loophole was first revealed:
"The communications of Americans in direct contact with foreign targets can also be collected without a warrant, and the intelligence agencies acknowledge that purely domestic communications can also be inadvertently swept into its databases. That process is known as 'incidental collection' in surveillance parlance."
Beginning in 2011, the NSA started querying these databases for information about Americans and foreigners in the U.S. without getting warrants first.
Stand with us and key allies as we work to shut down warrantless spying on Americans and on others on U.S. soil.
Additionally, this amendment would ban the NSA from trying to force companies to put surveillance backdoors, for the government to use, in their encryption standards.
Encryption keeps us safe from malicious data thefts and from other intrusions into our privacy, and requiring companies to create these backdoors would make us all more vulnerable -- yet shortsighted forces within the "intelligence" agencies want to do just that. This amendment would block them from doing so.
Click here to help us keep Americans safe from warrantless spying and to push back against attempts to make our data more vulnerable.
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-- The RootsAction.org Team
P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.