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Blog

FISA Reauthorization Bill Is a Mixed Bag

Widespread controversy over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance and Accountability Act (FISA) continues, as the December 31 deadline for reauthorization is fast-approaching. Politicians and civil liberties groups alike have worked for several years, particularly since the revelations made by Edward Snowden, in an attempt to strike a balance between privacy and national security. FISA has been a centerpiece of this discussion, and its reauthorization discussions have brought it once again to the forefront.

10/09/2017
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Issue Analysis

FreedomWorks' Principles for FISA Reform

The current authorization for Title VII, including the controversial Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), will expire on December 31, 2017. Discussion of reauthorization with reform has already begun in the House. In the Senate, however, Republican members of the Select Committee on Intelligence have backed legislation that would permanently reauthorize FISA without any reform.

08/17/2017
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Press Release

Lee and Leahy Move to Protect Email with Due Process

FreedomWorks supports the ECPA Modernization Act of 2017 by Senators Mike Lee and Patrick Leahy to protect the Fourth Amendment rights of every American by amending the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. This outdated law was written before most people even knew what the word internet meant, and well before the world of cloud-computing and online data storage. This legislation is in dire need of an upgrade, and Sens. Lee and Leahy should be applauded for taking the lead on this important issue.

07/27/2017
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Press Release

FreedomWorks Also Opposes FISA Amendments Act in Current Form

FreedomWorks affirmed its support for the position the House Freedom Caucus Board has taken to oppose the FISA Amendments Act in its current form. FreedomWorks Director of Public Policy and Legislative Affairs Jason Pye released the following statement:

06/15/2017
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Blog

Support the Email Privacy Act, H.R. 387

On behalf of FreedomWorks’ activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and urge him or her to cosponsor the Email Privacy Act, H.R. 387, if they have not already done so. Introduced by Rep. Kevin Yoder, the Email Privacy Act brings the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986 into the 21st Century.

01/10/2017
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Blog

Rule 41 Violates Fourth Amendment

The Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules for the Judicial Conference of the United States has proposed an amendment to Rule 41. While these rules are typically procedural changes, the proposed changes in Rule 41 are actually a substantive policy change that provides federal law enforcement sweeping new powers to remotely search and seize electronic storage media.

10/14/2016
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Blog

Yahoo Case Highlights Trouble for Privacy Rights

Last year, Yahoo received a court order from the Justice Department (who obtained it from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) obligating Yahoo to scan all of its users’ emails for specific information, which has not been disclosed. We do know some of that search involved finding traces of malware. By modifying a standard spam filter, Yahoo was able to search through all of its users’ emails, not just individual accounts, in real time. Yahoo claims to have since discontinued this practice.

10/13/2016
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Blog

Circumventing Cell Towers and Constitutions

On Wednesday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) singled out StingRay scanners, stating that the committee is set to investigate these devices and their use in government surveillance. While mired in technical language, this is an issue of importance to all Americans.

09/12/2016
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Blog

The Digital Age Warrants Constitutional Protections

In the majority opinion for the unanimous Court in Riley v. California (2014), Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought.” This “go get a warrant” sentiment is echoed again and again in more recent cases involving cell phone privacy. By taking a closer look at how exactly a search warrant works, it becomes increasingly clear that this protection is needed now more than ever as we enter the digital age.

07/19/2016
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Blog

Ruling Celebrated as Fourth Amendment Victory Leaves Unanswered Questions

A federal judge in New York ruled for the first time on Tuesday that the use of a surveillance device to capture cell phone location information constitutes a warrantless search. In the case, Lambis v. United States, government officials used a stingray device to track a drug suspect. Stingrays, also known as “cell site simulators,” force cell phones in the area to transmit signals that pinpoint the user’s location through cell site location information, or CSLI data.

07/13/2016

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