In the past 48 hours, it has been reported that the National Security Agency (NSA) and FBI are "tapped" directly into the servers of the nation's top Internet providers and have been collecting the phone records of millions of Verizon customers in the U.S. on an "ongoing, daily basis."
CAIR and other civil liberties organizations strongly suspect that the federal government is also collecting call data from all other major phone carriers.
Join CAIR in demanding that the president and Congress shut down these overly intrusive and unconstitutional spying programs that are aimed at American citizens.
CAIR has provided a "click and send" letter for all Americans call on President Obama and Congress to demand an immediate end to these abusive and unconstitutional government spying programs. Please sign the letter to send it to the president and your representatives in Congress.
Right now the FBI and NSA have obtained "direct access," under Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) secret court orders, to the servers of Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Microsoft (Hotmail, etc.), Apple, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, and AOL. Under a surveillance program, code-named PRISM, they are collecting data on personal emails, chats, videos, photos, stored data, VoIP, file transfers, video conferences, logins, and details on online social networking.
It has also been reported that FBI and the NSA are using the USA PATRIOT Act to obtain FISA secret court orders instructing Verizon Business Network Services to turn over millions of customer phone records. Under this secret court order, Verizon must provide the FBI and NSA with phone records "between the United States and abroad" and "wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls."
This includes the phone numbers for both parties on a call, as well as data on time, location, duration, and other unique identifiers. Only the names of the persons who made the calls were not handed over, although such information is easily attainable, and the conversations held during the calls.
These classified domestic spying programs have been operational for years under both the Obama and Bush administrations.
In February 2008, CAIR opposed the expansion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act because it gave immunity to telecom companies that may have unlawfully aided the administration's bypassing of FISA court orders.
In 2011, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, warned that "when the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they will be stunned and they will be angry."
In 2012, the NSA refused tell Senators Mark Udall (D-CO) and Wyden how many Americans phone calls, text messages, and emails were being spied without probable cause under the broad powers granted in the 2008 expansion of FISA.
While some in Congress and the White House say that these spying programs are lawful under the Patriot Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, CAIR and the civil rights community believes that the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is clear:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause."