Action Alert #532: Urge Senate to Oppose Warrantless Surveillance
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/4/2008) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on American Muslims and other people of conscience to oppose unchecked domestic surveillance programs and retroactive immunity for telecom companies that may have aided such surveillance.
Two years ago, Americans learned that the National Security Agency (NSA) was engaging in domestic spying without the traditional check of judicial review. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 prohibits domestic spying without a warrant from a special court established by the law.
In August 2007, Congress passed the Protect America Act, which "...gives the NSA a blank check to wiretap Americans without judicial oversight." (American Civil Liberties Union)
This week, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the FISA Amendments Act, a law that would update FISA's rules on surveillance.
Civil rights advocates are particularly concerned about the bill's retroactive immunity offered to telecom companies that may have aided the administration's bypassing of FISA.
"Americans have opposed unchecked invasions of their privacy since the founders stood up to King George's Writs of Assistance," said CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor. "There will never be a time when we should abandon such values."
IMMEDIATE ACTIONS REQUESTED:
1. CONTACT both of your senators and ask them to oppose unchecked domestic surveillance of ordinary Americans. Call, fax and e-mail.
Click here to find your senators and their contact information:
- As your constituent, I urge you to oppose unchecked domestic surveillance programs and retroactive immunity for telecom companies that may have aided such surveillance.
- Our nation and its leaders cannot and should not abandon the principle of checks and balances.
I ask you to read Senator Feingold's February 1, 2008 statement and support his commonsense proposals.
See a copy of the statement here, offer to fax or email it to the Senate office.
2. INFORM YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY by forwarding this alert to at least five other people. Tell them you took action and ask them to do the same.