This month, TechFreedom joined two different coalitions of privacy, civil rights and government transparency organizations in urging Congress to avoid reauthorizing bulk collection of phone records under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act when it sunsets at the end of the month.
The first coalition letter opens:
Almost two years ago, the United States’ bulk surveillance programs operating under Section 215 of the Patriot Act and other authorities were revealed to the public. These bulk surveillance programs raise serious constitutional concerns, erode global confidence in the security of digital products, and are unnecessary for national security. These sentiments were echoed by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which concluded that daily collection of Americans’ phone records under Section 215 both lacked a legal basis and failed to prevent even a single terror attack.
The second letter notes the immediacy of the upcoming deadline and urges Congress to oppose any measures that would reauthorize the bulk collection.
The bulk collection of telephone records authorized under Section 215 represents a major violation of Americans’ privacy rights; Congress must seize on this opportunity to win a major victory for surveillance reform.