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Statement

Coalition Letter Urges Congress to Restore Constitutional Limits on Surveillance

On February 16, 2021, the Brennan Center joined six other organizations in calling on Congress to honor the letter and spirit of the Fourth Amendment by enacting surveillance reforms that would limit the warrantless collection of Americans’ sensitive personal information.

Last Updated: February 16, 2021
Published: March 15, 2021

Surveil­lance author­it­ies in the United States have long been due for an update. The last time Congress passed mean­ing­ful, far-reach­ing legis­la­tion to protect Amer­ic­ans’ consti­tu­tional rights and consumer privacy was in the wake of the Civil Rights Move­ment, when the Church Commit­tee revealed that U.S. intel­li­gence agen­cies had been spying on Amer­ic­ans—espe­cially Black Amer­ic­ans—­for decades. Those laws have struggled to keep up with the devel­op­ments of the inter­net and the strength­en­ing of intrus­ive surveil­lance programs after 9/11. Today, we see similar patterns to those the Church Commit­tee saw in the 1970s—the govern­ment is again spying on Amer­ic­ans, and dispro­por­tion­ately target­ing protest­ers, Black Amer­ic­ans, and other margin­al­ized communit­ies. The Bren­nan Center is thus urging the new Congress to take steps to restore Amer­ic­an’s consti­tu­tional rights and create a sustain­able legal frame­work for privacy in the digital age.

Coali­tion Letter Urges Congress to Restore Consti­tu­tional Limits on Surveil­lance by The Bren­nan Center for Justice on Scribd