Stop The NSA's Backdoor: Call Congress Today To Support Key Amendment

from the speak-up-now dept

Last week, we noted that there was an effort underway to introduce an amendment for this week's Defense Appropriations bill in the House that would effectively limit some of the most nefarious aspects of the NSA's ability to spy on Americans via two different types of backdoors: (1) so-called "backdoor searches" on Americans' information collected under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act and (2) mandating tech companies build in backdoors to their technology for the NSA to go snooping. The Defense Appropriations bill is expected to hit the House floor sometime soon, under open rules, meaning that the amendment in question won't be blocked by the House Rules Committee, as happens on a variety of other bills.

The amendment has powerful bipartisan backing, sponsored by Reps. James Sensenbrenner, Thomas Massie and Zoe Lofgren, along with co-sponsors Reps. Conyers, Poe, Gabbard, Jordan, O’Rourke, Amash, and Holt. Having Sensenbrenner bring out this amendment is a big deal. This amendment would restore at least one aspect of the USA Freedom Act that was stripped out at the last minute under pressure from the White House. Sensenbrenner sponsoring this bill highlights that he's clearly not satisfied with how his own bill got twisted and watered down from the original, and he's still working to put back in some of the protections that were removed. Conyers is a powerful force on the other side of the aisle, whose support for the USA Freedom Act was seen by some as a signal that the bill was "okay" to vote on. Having both of them support this Amendment suggests that neither were really that satisfied with the bill and felt pressured into supporting it.

While this Amendment doesn't fix everything, it is an important chance for members of Congress to show that they really do support protecting Americans' privacy. But they need to know that. Please contact your Representative today to let them know you want them to support this amendment. The EFF and others have set up a website,, to help you contact your official. Please do so today.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Gauze, Jun 18th, 2014 @ 1:57pm

    Who's going to represent 'The People' and verify if this law is passed?
    Elected officials only represent themselves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2014 @ 2:25pm

    The website name sounds like something that would be said in a comerical where the guy says "I just shipped my pants".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous, Jun 18th, 2014 @ 2:45pm

    The only time the government ever listens to us is when they're monitoring our communications.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jun 18th, 2014 @ 11:00pm


    Oh that's not the only time, if for example the public makes enough noise that politicians feel their ability to get re-elected is at risk, suddenly they're all ears... right until they get elected again and they go back to business as usual.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 9:37am

    has the vote happened yet?

    Do I still have time to call?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2014 @ 10:15am

    Re: has the vote happened yet?

    I can't tell the status. When I go to the congress website for hr 4870, I'm see plenty of amendments, but none sponsored by Lofgren, Sensenbrenner, or Massie.{%22search%22%3A[%2 2hr+4870%22]}

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Gene Cavanaugh (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 11:51am

    Shutting the NSA backdoors

    I tried, but the automated response "could not recognize my zip code", then hung up.

    I will continue trying.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Sina KHanifar (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Shutting the NSA backdoors

    Ah strange, do you mind if I ask which zip code you used?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Sina KHanifar (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 12:05pm

    Re: has the vote happened yet?

    Yes, there's still time to call. the vote hasn't happened yet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    GEMont (profile), Jun 19th, 2014 @ 5:45pm

    Not a chgance in hell - or America for that matter

    Well gee, its not hard to predict where this will go.

    100% fail.

    Dunno how, but the boys aint gonna let no legal shit like this interfere with their ability to gather dirt on their enemies - the American Public - and play games with their lives.

    This bill will either die outright, or be replaced at the last minute with another roll of pre-used toilet paper, like all the other attempts to control the spooks in the machine.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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