The FISA Amendments Act, a bill the EFF community fought against in 2008, is set to expire in just 2 weeks. This is the legislation that, for the first time, allowed warrantless surveillance of Americans, albeit only when they are communicating with foreign "targets." Some claim that this law is the basis for the government’s warrantless dragnet of all Americans, as a first step to “targeted" surveillance.
But to date, the government refuses to provide any details about how it is engaging in this American surveillance or how many Americans are actually impacted.
The nation was shocked when revelations about widespread surveillance were first unearthed more than 5 years ago, including President Bush’s admission he was violating a critical surveillance law to spy on selected Americans without warrants.
EFF has gathered and presented evidence that the actual spying was much broader, including millions of innocent Americans. EFF’s evidence includes schematics and photographs from inside AT&T’s San Francisco facilities where millions of Americans’ communications are being copied to the government. But rather than dismantle this illegal program, Congress gave at least part of it a sheen of legality by passing the FISA Amendments Act in 2008.
Portions of the FISA Amendments Act are set to expire on December 31, 2012. That means Congress has only a handful of working days to reauthorize this bill. They’re going to attempt to ram through a five-year extension with no debate and no reform— saddling us with five more years of unconstitutional surveillance and no public accountability or reporting about the Americans affected.
We need your help to stop this bill. Please join EFF in fighting for privacy by sending this note to Congress.
And please also tweet at Senate leadership to ensure this issue isn’t swept under the rug in the final days of the Congressional session:
Hey @McConnellPress and @SenatorReid: Don't ram through a 5-year extension on FISA Amendments Act. https://eff.org/r.2asn