FISA Amendments Act

The government is relying upon the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA) to engage in the surveillance of Americans' international phone calls, text messages, and emails. Recent disclosures show that an unknown number of purely domestic communications are also monitored, that the rules that supposedly protect Americans' privacy are weak and riddled with exceptions, and that virtually every email that goes into or out of the United States is scanned for suspicious keywords. Click here to read more about the ACLU's work to reform the FAA.

NSA Congress

House Tees Up Surveillance Reform for Senate

By Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel at 5:10pm
For the second time in just one month, late last night the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation – this time as an amendment to an appropriations bill that will now move to the Senate – aimed at reining in NSA abuse.
ACLU Seeks Secret Court Opinions Authorizing NSA's Mass Acquisition of Americans' Phone Records

ACLU Seeks Secret Court Opinions Authorizing NSA's Mass Acquisition of Americans' Phone Records

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 1:30pm

The ACLU and Yale Law School's Media Freedom and Information Clinic filed a motion today with the Foreign Intelligence...

More Transparency Needed For Government's Use of National Security Powers For Data Requests From Companies

More Transparency Needed For Government's Use of National Security Powers For Data Requests From Companies

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 2:27pm

Google's transparency report reveals that the U.S. government asked Google for data on its users 6,321 times during the second half of 2011—a 75% increase from two years ago.

PCLOB to Examine Legal Underpinnings of NSA Surveillance

PCLOB to Examine Legal Underpinnings of NSA Surveillance

By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 10:54am

Today, the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer will appear before the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board as its members question government officials, privacy advocates, law professors, and policy experts about the government’s surveillance programs…

The Nine Things You Should Know About the NSA Recommendations From the President’s Review Group

The Nine Things You Should Know About the NSA Recommendations From the President’s Review Group

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:00am

The President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies just issued a report that unequivocally rejected the notion that privacy and civil liberties must be sacrificed in order to achieve a balance with national security. Liberty and Security in a Changing World includes 46 recommendations for how to reform Intelligence Community programs and practices, several of which would go a long way toward protecting Americans' rights. Here are the nine most important things you need to know about those recommendations.

It's Official: NSA Wants to Suck up All Americans’ Phone Records

It's Official: NSA Wants to Suck up All Americans’ Phone Records

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:58pm

The NSA has officially stopped sugar coating the fact that it wants to spy on every American.

At yesterday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on FISA legislation, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) asked NSA director, Gen. Keith Alexander, whether…

Dianne Feinstein's Fake Surveillance Reform Bill

Dianne Feinstein's Fake Surveillance Reform Bill

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:55am

This was originally posted on The Guardian.

Members of Congress have introduced almost 30 separate bills to rein in NSA spying, increase transparency, or rework the secret court process that has sanctioned these programs. Two pieces of…

Setting the Bar for Intelligence Reform

Setting the Bar for Intelligence Reform

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:03am

Yesterday afternoon, the first shot in the fight for comprehensive intelligence reform was fired.

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mark Udall (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) held a press conference to discuss the government's…

"There Have Been Some Compliance Incidents": NSA Violates Surveillance Rules Multiple Times a Day

"There Have Been Some Compliance Incidents": NSA Violates Surveillance Rules Multiple Times a Day

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy at 2:21pm

The Washington Post reported last night that the NSA has been violating...

"Let's Put The Whole Elephant Out There": President Obama's Speech and Bulk Searches of Americans’ Emails

"Let's Put The Whole Elephant Out There": President Obama's Speech and Bulk Searches of Americans’ Emails

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 6:21pm

In his news conference last Friday, President Obama acknowledged the need for critical reforms to the National Security Agency's surveillance programs. Yet despite his nod toward greater transparency — what he called an effort to "put the whole elephant…

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