Reposting from District Dispatch:
Help put a stop to warrantless surveillance. Ask your congressional representative today to vote YES on the Amash amendment in the Defense Appropriations Bill, H.R. 2397. Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) have introduced an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill, H.R. 2397, that would stop funding the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance programs.
Use This Message: “The Amash amendment would limit the NSA domestic call metadata program so that it could no longer collect such data in bulk. It could only use 215 orders to collect phone records on an individual who is the subject of a terrorism or espionage investigation. It would be a major reform. Please vote YES on the Amash proposal.”
The Amash proposal could make a big difference–a vote for it is a vote against the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephony metadata collections. There is little time, so phone calls are recommended over emails. The proposal has bipartisan co-sponsorship, including support from Reps. Conyers, Mulvaney, Polis, and Massie.
Facts about the Amash Amendment:
- The Amash proposal is an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2397) coming to a vote in the House, likely tomorrow, Wednesday, July 24th. The proposal would stop funding NSA’s warrantless surveillance programs.
- The Administration has confirmed that Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act has been broadly interpreted and for seven years has tracked every phone call everyone in the US has made.
- While the administration initially claimed that the program was very rarely used, recent testimony indicates the opposite: the database is searched and innocent people not connected with any suspected terrorist, are caught up in the surveillance.
- While this amendment would not halt all NSA surveillance activities, it does take an important step requiring that this particular authority can only be used to collect information on those who are actually the subject of an investigation.
- House leadership introduced a “red herring” amendment that only serves to reinforce current law and all its excesses – A vote YES for the Nugent amendment does NOT solve the problem.