Rein in the Surveillance State

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The National Security Agency's mass surveillance has greatly expanded in the years since September 11, 2001. Recent disclosures have shown that the government is regularly tracking the calls of hundreds of millions of Americans and spying on a vast but unknown number of Americans' international calls, text messages, and emails.

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The government's new surveillance programs have infiltrated most of the communications technologies we have come to rely on. They are largely enabled by two problematic laws passed by Congress under a national security premise: the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). While the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) oversees the government's surveillance activities, it operates in near-total secrecy through one-sided procedures that heavily favor the government.

Our Constitution and democratic system demand that government be transparent and accountable to the people, not the other way around. History has shown that powerful, secret surveillance tools will almost certainly be abused for political ends.

The ACLU has been at the forefront of the struggle to rein in the surveillance superstructure, which strikes at the core of our rights to privacy, free speech, and association. Read on to learn what we're doing to roll back the surveillance state.

 
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