In the wake of the January 6th riot on Capitol Hill, politicians on both sides of the aisle are calling for new laws that will let them spy on the American public. We’ve seen the government abuse these laws before, performing warrantless surveillance on Black Lives Matter protesters, journalists, and millions of ordinary people just like you and me while ignoring credible threats of violence. We can’t let that happen again. Tell your lawmakers: “No more PATRIOT Act and no more spying on people without a warrant.”
Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act expired nearly one year ago. Join us on March 15th, 2021 as we celebrate the one-year anniversary of the end of this awful, invasive surveillance law. We’ll be hosting a livestream with privacy advocates and human rights experts who will discuss what’s changed since the PATRIOT Act expired, what hasn’t changed, and what we can all do to put an end to the government spying on ordinary people.
In his written testimony to Congress, FBI Director Christopher Wray called end-to-end encryption a “threat,” and blamed encrypted messaging apps like Apple’s iMessage for everything from terrorism to drug trafficking and organized crime. Now politicians are calling for legislation that would destroy our digital privacy and free speech online in an attempt to “do something” about violent extremism in America. We’ve heard it all before, and we know better: trampling all over our basic human rights won’t fix this problem.
In his written statement for today's SJC hearing, FBI Director Chris Wray coins a new anti-encryption term: "user-only-access encryption."— Eric Geller (@ericgeller) March 2, 2021
He says the would-be Michigan governor kidnappers and the Capitol rioters plotted on encrypted apps. Also notes challenges for local LE. pic.twitter.com/TpTTNpcJbb
The January 6th attack on the US Capitol wasn’t planned in the shadows of encrypted messaging apps; it was planned on public-facing social media sites. President Trump even encouraged the insurrection from his Twitter account during the siege on Congress; security officials simply failed to take seriously a large mob who were gathering with the intent to disrupt the certification of the election. So why do government officials want to spy on our private messages when they won’t even pay attention to public threats of violence?
The truth is that law enforcement agents and intelligence officials are already capable of hacking our phones, and they do it all the time. Even worse, they’ve been reading our text messages, logging our phone calls, and prying into our Internet history for literally decades … often in direct violation of our Constitutionally-protected rights.
There are many good reasons for ordinary people like you and me to lock our phones, use encrypted messaging apps, and protect our account passwords. Some of us are concerned about hackers and identity thieves. Some of us want to safeguard our sensitive medical and financial information. But the thing is that we don’t even need a good reason for privacy; the government needs a good reason — approved by a court of law — to go snooping around our personal effects. Unfortunately, they don’t have one.
Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act is dead, and that’s a good thing. Let’s keep it that way. Fill out the form at the top of the page to tell your lawmakers to reject any attempts to bring back the PATRIOT Act or spy on the American public. Together, we can put an end to abusive government surveillance.