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The increase in government surveillance poses an unacceptable threat to privacy and freedom of speech. The Brennan Center educates the public about how our personal information is collected, and we challenge overbroad surveillance policies.

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Why It Matters

Since 9/11, it’s become much easier for the government to collect information about ordinary Americans, even those with no real ties to terrorism. This increase in government surveillance poses an unacceptable threat to privacy — and it can make us less safe, not more, by alienating minority communities who are often the victims of racial or religious profiling. 

The Brennan Center fights for a better approach by educating Americans about how the government is collecting, sharing, and storing our data, including through social media monitoring; by challenging overly broad surveillance policies in court and in the media; and by advocating for a more targeted and practical counterterrorism strategy.

Solutions

End Warrantless Spying on Americans

Congress should enact reforms to ensure that warrantless surveillance ostensibly directed at foreigners isn’t used to spy on Americans.

Enact Public Oversight of NYPD Surveillance Technology. 

The New York City Council should pass the Public Oversight of Surveillance Technology (POST) Act, which would require the NYPD to disclose its use of surveillance technologies and explain the policies in place to protect the privacy and civil liberties of New Yorkers.

Read more in our Liberty & National Security solutions and What Went Wrong with the FISA Court reports.