Dear Rep. Desjarlais - Endorse the GSRA!

The Government Surveillance Reform Act (GSRA) is a bipartisan, bicameral piece of legislation that renews FISA Section 702 with sweeping reforms to government surveillance powers. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rein in the surveillance state.

We need you to write to your Representative, Scott Desjarlais, to ask him to cosponsor the GSRA.

The GSRA is the best answer to the upcoming expiration of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), an intrusive spying authority that sweeps up many thousands’ of Americans communications every year. FBI agents abuse this authority to spy on protesters, worshippers, and even to stalk people.

Rep. Desjarlais is one of few legislators to score an A+ on our political scorecard. He voted for the USA RIGHTS Act to rein in mass surveillance under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, voted to add prohibitions on NSA reverse targeting to 2018 appropriations, and voted yes on the Massie-Lofgren Amendment to HR2685, which proposed to defund warrantless government searches of database information collected under FISA Section 702. He also supported the original USA Freedom Act prior to the weakening of its provisions in the Senate. Signing on as a cosponsor of the GSRA is directly in line with Rep. Desjarlais’s previous legislative initiatives. By writing to him as a constituent, you can urge him to remain on Team Privacy.

Desjarlais’s statement on voting against the weakened USA Freedom Act still rings true today: “I have significant concerns regarding how the NSA has engaged in bulk collection of data on American citizens. Not only is this practice inconsistent with our fundamental notions of privacy, I believe it violates our Constitutional Fourth Amendment rights. It was my hope that today’s legislation would have ended this unconstitutional spying by the government, but unfortunately last minute changes to the original bill made it ineffective in stopping the NSA’s abuse of power.”

The GSRA tackles these concerns, and requires that:

  • FBI and other intelligence officials must acquire a warrant prior to querying the Section 702 NSA database for U.S. persons’ communications, with exceptions carved out for exigent circumstances and individuals that have given prior consent to a search.

  • Limits the purpose and scope of Section 702 to foreign intelligence only

  • Sets up accountability procedures for negligent violations of querying procedures

  • Requires transparency measures that disclose, in a timely manner, the number of U.S. persons targeted under Section 702 as well as significant Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) opinions

  • Closes the “data-broker loophole” so that federal agencies can’t buy their way around the Fourth Amendment

And much, much more.

We’re not kidding when we say that the GSRA is the best surveillance reform opportunity since Restore the Fourth’s founding back in 2013.

Please help us in this key moment by writing to Rep. Desjarlais to ask that he co-sponsors the GSRA.

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Belmont, MA