Investigate NSA surveillance—I do not consent to search!
I'm e-mailing as your constituent today to make you aware that I do NOT consent to the recording/search of information about my communications activity, be it telephone, E-mail, or Internet. I demand that the constitution be followed as originally intended, that the use of the so-called PATRIOT Act be narrowly interpreted, and that Section 215 be rewritten to be in line with the American values with which I grew up—privacy for individuals, no unreasonable searches.
I urge you to form a commission to fully and publicly investigate the recent revelations published by the Guardian and the Washington Post confirming the NSA’s secret surveillance programs and to introduce legislation to stop it. These reports include evidence of a secret court order that forces Verizon to give the NSA all their customers' calls records “on an ongoing daily basis” for any call “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls” as well as calls made “between the United States and abroad.” Reports have also been published by the Washington Post and the Guardian showing how the NSA and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of 9 leading U.S. Internet companies. The government is extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.
This is wrong, illegal, and strikes at the very core of American ideals about freedom and privacy.
High-ranking public officials who are supposed to represent the interests of the American people and who have sworn to uphold the Constitution—including the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches—must be held accountable.
When the government was caught spying on American citizens in the 1950s, Congress created the Church Commission to right the government's wrongs. Recommendations from that commission resulted in legal reforms that ensured judicial oversight of surveillance programs. Congress must act in a similar fashion and create a 21st-century Church Commission. For far too long, secret law and a secret surveillance state have been a dark blot on Americans' freedom. It's time to bring the NSA spying to light, as follows:
• Immediately create a commission to investigate, report, and reveal to the American public the extent of this domestic spying;
• Demand an explanation from public officials about why and how innocent American are under surveillance;
• Create specific recommendations for legal and regulatory reform to end unconstitutional surveillance;
• Hold public officials—including Attorney General Eric Holder—accountable for their role in these surveillance programs.
Innocent Americans who are not suspected of any crime should not live in fear of being spied on by their government; this must be addressed immediatly.
[N.B.: The above is my customization of the EFF petition to address the revelation by the Guardian and the Washington Post of the NSA’s massive dragnet of telephone conversations of ordinary citizens.]