Media contact: Mark Stanley, 202.681.7582
Today, Demand Progress joined 17 other advocacy groups, companies, and privacy experts in signing a letter thanking Senators Blumenthal, Cantwell, Coons, Cruz, Daines, Heinrich, Lee, Manchin, Paul, Tester, and Wyden for filibustering an extension of key PATRIOT Act provisions. The letter also calls on the senators to ensure that no legislation be approved by the Senate, no matter what form it may take, if it would extend the PATRIOT Act. The following statement can be attributed to Demand Progress Executive Director David Segal:
“Only weeks ago, a sunset of key PATRIOT Act provisions seemed impossible. But thanks to the millions of Americans who have called for real reform, and the principled stand made by the senators who blocked an extension of the law, the tide has turned. We are now in a position where true reform is more likely than ever, and in order to achieve it, Members of Congress must stand strong and not waver in their defense of Americans’ fundamental rights.
"The PATRIOT Act, rushed through Congress in the wake of a national crisis, included sunset provisions for a reason: The extraordinary new powers created by the law were to be re-examined — and allowed to expire if abusive or ineffective. Both of those criteria have been met.
"Meanwhile, the USA Freedom Act, which would offer meager reforms to the PATRIOT Act but also codify unacceptable surveillance powers — and even provide immunity to companies that facilitate illegal government spying — does not sufficiently constrain surveillance. The Senate should block it as well, let Section 215 and other provisions expire, and enact further reforms to protect Americans’ privacy rights.”
The full letter can be read here.
- American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
- Bill of Rights Defense Committee
- Council on American-Islamic Relations
- Data Foundry
- Defending Dissent Foundation
- Demand Progress
- Democracy for America
- Friends Committee on National Legislation
- Golden Frog
- Jennifer Granick*
- Liberty Coalition
- Restore the Fourth
- Sunlight Foundation
- Tea Party Nation
* Director of Civil Liberties, Stanford Center for Internet and Society (affiliation purposes only)