Civil Society Groups and Tech Companies Call for Significant Reform to U.S. Surveillance Practices
CDT and its partners on this letter are united in demanding both transparency around these programs and real reform to these overly invasive practices.
The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), on behalf of a broad coalition of civil society groups, trade associations, companies and investors, delivered a letter to Congressional leadership today that called on Congress to reform U.S. intelligence surveillance practices. Signatories, which ranged the political spectrum from the ACLU to FreedomWorks and included corporate giants like Hewlett-Packard and Dropbox, urged Congress to limit the scope of surveillance practices, reject bulk collection, and to substantially enhance the privacy protections, oversight and accountability mechanisms that govern surveillance.
“Recent disclosures regarding intelligence surveillance activity raise important concerns about the privacy and security of communications. This surveillance has already eroded trust that is essential to the free flow of information and to the exercise of human rights and civil liberties both in the United States and around the world,” the letter stated.
The signatories welcomed the USA FREEDOM Act, while stressing the importance of working on this and other legislation to protect the privacy of Internet users, while permitting appropriately targeted intelligence surveillance necessary to protect against terrorism.
“Civil society and tech companies have come together to strongly oppose bulk collection of private communications metadata, and to urge the government to honor constitutional and human rights. CDT and its partners on this letter are united in demanding both transparency around these programs and real reform to these overly invasive practices. The USA FREEDOM Act would go a long way toward realizing necessary reforms,” said Greg Nojeim, Director of CDT’s Project on Freedom Security and Technology.
The coalition letter, which includes a list of all signatories, is available here.