ACLU Sues for Answers on Warrantless Surveillance of Americans

The election is over, and the 115th Congress will face many vital decisions regarding our civil rights and civil liberties.

One such decision looms large. Next year, Congress must decide whether to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (or “FISA”), one of the most sweeping surveillance authorities ever enacted. Congress has already begun to hold public hearings concerning Section 702 as it prepares to decide whether this surveillance law should be extended, overhauled, or scrapped altogether.

But there is a critical problem: the public is still in the dark about basic facts concerning Section 702. And that’s why we’re filing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit today, seeking information that Americans need in order to take part in the debate and hold their representatives accountable.

Here’s what we do know: Section 702 permits warrantless surveillance of Americans’ international communications — and the government has used that authority to seize and search the personal communications of Americans and others on an immense scale. To do so, the government doesn’t need individualized court approval or any suspicion of wrongdoing whatsoever.

The surveillance is carried out through at least two programs, “PRISM” and “Upstream.” Through the PRISM program, the government compels electronic communications providers — like Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft — to furnish communications sent to or from a foreign target’s account, such as emails that individual exchanges with family, friends, or business associates in the United States. Through Upstream surveillance, the government intercepts international telephone calls and internet communications as they are routed across communications networks inside the United States. As we explained recently, Upstream surveillance of Americans’ internet communications represents a new surveillance paradigm — one in which the NSA’s computers constantly scan our communications for information of interest to the government.

But we still don’t know the full extent of these programs and precisely how they are implemented today. Although it is clear that this surveillance is far-reaching, we don’t know how many Americans have had their private emails or other online communications collected in government databases. We also don’t know the complete set of rules that agencies like the FBI, NSA, and CIA use when they rely on this surveillance to investigate American citizens and residents.

We submitted a Freedom of Information Act request in September to help us answer basic questions like these. We asked the NSA, CIA, DOJ, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to search their records for relevant documents and to disclose what they found. This information is urgently needed, we emphasized, because congressional hearings about reauthorization are already underway. But to date, nearly all of the agencies have failed to respond to the request, despite their statutory obligation to do so.

That’s why we’re going to court — in order to compel the government to release much-needed information about Section 702 to the public, as FOIA requires. This surveillance law is scheduled to expire next year, and before a decision on reauthorization is made, both Congress and the public must fully understand the law’s impact on core privacy and free speech rights of Americans. It is only then — with a complete picture of what is at stake — that Congress can weigh how best to reform this expansive surveillance authority. 

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Stronger together

Spot on!

Anonymous

Yup!! You have well said MR about this http://bit.ly/2vfnk0M, We have spot on.

Mario Rocha

For the past five years I have been secretly tracked via Remote Neural Monitoring (RNM), which was only brought to my attention on December 2016. Since then I have been subjected to 24 hour ultrasonic harrassment accompanied by a omnipresent message board which audibly reads every communicable "evoked potential" that registers in my brain, activity that does not always register in the conscious mind. So the people who spy have developed and spread the practice of responding to each entry that registers as if it is directed to them, in other words, coerced communication.

RNM also allows them to remotely perform acts of torture for example, they are blurring my eyesight now for writing this comment.

But shocking the testicles and zapping my intestinal tract is even more blatantly malicious. Either way, these individuals do not possess any specialized knowledge or certification or demonstrate the professional integrity to any code of ethics to continue to operate this and any other warrantless surveillance programs.

Still, not only has the intrusion continued without a moment's rest and with no privacy respected whatsoever, this crime against humanity has also been accompanied by a public broadcast without causing the civil unrest that fascism and hate ought to stir up.

I do worry about the inevitable considering the nature of this inciteful propoganda: RNM without formal charge and endorsed by Los Angeles County for the obvious purpose of weakening the political muscle of one who would otherwise stand unblemished as a shoe-in plaintiff in a Civil Rights case against the County--for the unlawful activities that caused my 1997 erroneous convictions for murder and attempted murder, an accomplishment already taken judicial notice of by way of my 2014 state compensation for false imprisonment, granted by the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board and awarded by the California legislature.

Since compensation the people responsible for the ongoing Public Castration through Genetically Modified regulation of my bodily functions without my informed consent and often knowledge, essentially turned my blessing into a curse.

After suffering my first major financial loss when former LAPD Detective, Richard Ledesma, Sr., of Rampart, reniged on his offer to sell me his house, everything crumbled. First, more than $40,000 worth of filmmaking equipment came up missing in the house I was purchasing, causing me to become paranoid about my property and money. This led to a conflict with the former Detective's son, Richard, Jr., whose wife might have been guilty of stealing most of the missing items. This woman then contracted members of the Avenues gang to protect them from me. They also recruited Eileen Madrid to join their secret sabatoge and smear campaigns, through which the Highland Park gang also began to engage in what would become a four gang-incorporated mission of Gang Stalking (the other two gangs, El Sereno Rifa and the Mongols biker gang, eventually withdrew their field foot soldiers). While she initially sought me out, my position was always firm in the fact that I was minding my own business and therefore could not be accused of misleading Eileen into believing that all I agreed to be in her life was a friend.

I had no idea she had come into the friendship with ulterior motives when certain individuals convinced her to double cross me, which she did first by becoming a Confidential Informant who caused me to get arrested 9 times in 2015, each accompanied by one of nine(9) vehicles I purchased with my compensation funds getting seized, one by one until I stumbled upon an RV I was living in until August 2, 2017, when the illegal invaders of my privacy influenced the LAPD to impound my mobile home. Since then I have been homeless on the street.

Still, I am victimized daily through the arbitrary imposition of invasive conditions against which there is no recourse.

The mind control tactics applied resemble those carried out against survivors of the CIA' s covert MKUltra program that, ironically, helped to galvanize the 1960s counter-cultural movement with the introduction of LSD for mind experimentation on targetted victims. Among one of these was the legendary black renessaincemen, Paul Robeson, who after being drugged by anti-Soviet spies and attempting to commit suicide would be institutionalized. Though the mental depression that he suffered at the end of his life unraveled as the intended effects of being drugged without knowledge or consent, his ultimate encounter with torturers, who were set on issuing the U.S. government's prescription for sick radicals and movement heroes, attained this opportunity when they took advantage of his elderly wife when he had been admitted to a mental hospital and cunningly got her to give her consent for the treatment that Robeson would go on to suffer when they performed 60 cases of Electroconvulsion Shock Therapy, or ECT, in one day. This is the kind of treatment Jack Nichelson' s character endures in the classic film by Stanley Kubrick, One Flew Over the Coo-Coos Nest.

Today our modern technology might appear to be more civilized in the mechanical application of Shock Therapy. But even evolved states of torture can tear open wounds that have yet to fully heal, and leave us tortured victims mindlessly immune to the natural cares and concerns of normal people. In a word, regardless of when torture takes place, the result might always be the same: victims will never be normal again.

Anonymous

Each and every member of Congress takes a supreme (and superseding) loyalty oath, oath of office, to follow the U.S. Constiutitution - which includes the Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment has never been amended by 3/4 of all states to allow "fishing expeditions" instead of constitutional searches based on probable cause of a past crime.

Congress is also required by law, under Article I, to make all laws necessary to enforce the U.S. Constitution. That clause has never been amended either.

Maybe we need to ask Congress to merely honor their employment contract that grants them authority over us!

Dan M

Great post.

Anonymous Boomer

I have requested assistance from the ACLU, both national and state levels. Glad to read this, and agree with the commenter re: Congress. mindjustice.org

mark nantz

I am going back to college in the spring, pretty much homeless ATM am ever since the rnc in philly to n 2000, my life has been hell. Every device or phone that I obtain gets destroyed in a matter of days, my fates this year came back saying my SS number wasn't even mine. I still can not use my star Id and life is hell enough as it is. I just want to better myself and thus.... my life, but this has all the ent too far. It is abuse and torture. Can someone tell me how to get relief from the harassment please. I don't want my items replaced or money. I just want to live a peaceful and productive life... thus, a happy one. I have done some real dumb stuff in my life and have paid the price. But to constantly be in fear of what's next... been marked by watchdog groups for everything from a racist to a child molester...neither of which am I. Only a foolish guy that almost waited too long to grow up. I can't even have a social media account little lone a social life. I can't deal with the trama and depression forever. Can someone give some directions.

Alberto Rodriguez

Hace más de cinco años ; pude darme cuenta que estoy siendo vigilado y acediado ; perseguido y constantemente intervenido en todos los aspectos de mi vida..aunque no he cometido ningún crimen. He podido entender que usan un complejo sistema de vigilancia y asedio; usando helicópteros ; aviones ; aves cybor o robots ; y muy especialmente unas criaturas que yo llamo tulpas .. y esta agencia gubernamental sitúa en tus oídos; órganos sexuales y el año y te van torturando día a día de diversas maneras. Son personas homoxesuales en su mayoría..las que trabajan en este agencia y perograma secreto ; soportado por el mismo gobierno de los Estados Unidos; como un experimento en personas civiles...Hasta los pájaros; como tiñosas ; palomas ; cuervos te vigilan a lo largo y ancho de los Estados Unidos.

Anonymous

ACLU Sucks. They don’t give a shit about Americans. They are in bed with power bosses and political machines who are stealing the people’s personal information and page parking negative stories on their paid off third party media sites that create misleading politically motivated news like that evil Gannett News

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