February 22nd, 2012 19:11 EST
Stop Warrantless Wiretapping Now
Dear Judyth Piazza and theSOP,
Nearly four years ago, Congress passed an unconstitutional domestic wiretapping bill " the FISA Amendments Act " allowing the NSA to spy on Americans` international phone calls and emails.
The ACLU filed suit challenging the law an hour after President Bush signed it. And we`ve been in court fighting the constitutionality of it ever since.
But from the beginning, the government has asked the courts to dismiss the ACLU`s lawsuit, arguing, in essence, that the 2008 law should not be subject to judicial review. And late Friday afternoon, the Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to endorse that dangerous idea. It urged the Supreme Court to overrule a sensible appeals court decision and deny the ACLU`s clients the right to challenge the NSA`s dragnet surveillance activities.
Both the Bush and Obama administrations have argued that no one can challenge the government`s secret spying unless they can first prove they`ve been spied upon. It sounds absurd, but it`s true.
Friday`s indefensible action by the Obama administration sets up a huge 2012 struggle over the 2008 FISA Amendments Act " one that will be waged in the courts and in Congress where the Act is set to expire at the end of this year.
That`s why we need you to act now. Tell your members of Congress to FIX FISA.
We`re demanding major changes before Congress considers renewing the law and reauthorizing this reckless government spying on the American people. Congress must: Expose the facts, including how often the Act has been used " or abused " to sweep up Americans` private communications.
End dragnet surveillance by forbidding the suspicionless interception of Americans` international communications. Enforce strong privacy safeguards reining in the NSA`s ability to store our private communications and share those communications with other agencies and governments.
Demand that Congress act to FIX FISA and refuse to reauthorize out-of-control government spying.
You can count on the ACLU to fight until we bring the NSA`s activities in line with the Constitution. Please stand with us.
Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director, ACLU
P.S. Let`s be clear about something. Warrantless wiretapping isn`t " or shouldn`t be " a partisan issue. And while partisans may change their positions on civil liberties issues depending on which party is in office, the ACLU`s positions are constant. We will challenge the Obama administration`s dangerous defense of the FISA Amendments Act just as aggressively as we challenged the warrantless wiretapping program under President Bush. And we`re counting on you to stand with us every step of the way.