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Press Release

Congress Fails to Extend Constitutional Protections Into Digital World

06/16/2016

Following the vote in the House of Representatives on an amendment sponsored by Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) to end unlawful surveillance of Americans through Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, FreedomWorks Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Wayne Brough commented:

“In failing to pass the Massie-Lofgren Amendment, Congress is also failing to extend our constitutional protections into the digital world. Section 702 surveillance is supposed to narrowly target specific foreign agents. Instead, it is being used to collect the information of countless American citizens. Massie’s amendment would have defunded the inappropriate use of a foreign surveillance program – it would not have presented law enforcement from ensuring public safety through the use of a warrant or the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act.”

“Section 702 is being used as an end-run around the Fourth Amendment. Federal agencies and the NSA do not have the authority to suspend our constitutional rights just because it is more convenient for them at the time. The vast database of information about American citizens ‘incidentally’ intercepted by the NSA is a threat to our Fourth Amendment rights that is entirely unnecessary when constitutional methods of investigating foreign targets do in fact exist. Congress should have thoroughly evaluated this method of surveillance before unnecessarily jeopardizing the fundamental Fourth Amendment protections enjoyed by all Americans.”

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