Take Action: Tell Congress to End Unwarranted Spying


American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

Tell Congress to End The Patriot Act’s Unwarranted Spying

The USA PATRIOT Act has significantly reduced our constitutional rights and allowed government agencies to target Arab-Americans without probable cause. Section 215 of the Patriot Act gave the FBI and the NSA broad power to spy on innocent Americans without a warrant. It also allowed the FBI and NSA to collect the phone records of millions of Americans. Fortunately, Section 215 of the Patriot Act is set to expire on June 1, 2015 — unless Congress reauthorizes it. 

Take action to protect our constitutional right to privacy: Click here to tell Congress not to reauthorize Section 215 of the Patriot Act.  

Section 215 of the Patriot Act violates the United States Constitution:

Section 215 allows for warrantless searches without probable cause. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution requires that the government show probable cause that someone has committed a crime before obtaining a warrant to search them. However, Section 215 allows the FBI to spy on people without even showing reasonable suspicion that the person is engaged in criminal activity. These warrantless searches also violate the Fourth and Fifth Amendment because the FBI fails to tell the persons who are subject to surveillance that their privacy rights have been violated.

Section 215 also allows the FBI to order any person or entity to turn over “any tangible things,” so long as the FBI “specifies” that the order is “for an authorized investigation…to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities.”  These orders could be used to obtain person records such as phone records, financial records, or even medical records. Additionally, persons who are served Section 215 orders have their First Amendment right to freedom of expression violated because they are not allowed to disclose this fact to anyone.  

Not only is Section 215 an attack on the Constitution, but it also has failed to be an effective tool at protecting our country as there is no evidence that it has ever prevented a terrorist attack.  Both the White House and the President’s Review Board have said that it is an unnecessary invasion of our privacy.  The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board said, “We have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which [bulk collection under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act] made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation.”

Take action: Click here to tell Congress to protect our privacy rights and civil liberties by voting against a reauthorization of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

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