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As one of our over 5.7 million FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to vote NO on S. Amdt. 4787 offered by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to the Senate version of the Commerce, Justice, Science spending bill. This amendment would greatly expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) surveillance powers, giving the agency the ability to collect sensitive, personal information about American citizens’ online activities.
Should this amendment pass, the FBI would have the authority to collect Electronic Communications Transactional Records (ECTRs) without a court order. This includes information about web browsing history, the to/from lines of emails, and location information from IP addresses—all collected without ever needing a warrant. Instead, the FBI would only require an administrative subpoena, also known as a National Security Letter, granting authority to collect personal information on Americans, which can be signed by the FBI without ever needing judicial approval. In addition to not requiring a warrant, national security letters also include a gag order, so companies cannot even inform their customers that their data is being turned over to federal law enforcement officials. This amendment is an affront to the constitutional liberties we all enjoy as Americans. The Fourth Amendment is an important protection against government intrusions into our lives, and we should be wary of any legislation that threatens such a fundamental right.
Please contact your senators and ask them to vote NO on Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) amendment to the Senate version of the Commerce, Justice, Science spending bill. FreedomWorks will count the vote on this amendment as a Key Vote when calculating our Senate Scorecard for 2016. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
Adam Brandon, President and CEO, FreedomWorks