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U.S. Representative Justin Amash

Representing the 3rd District of Michigan

Amash Knocks President's Surveillance Dodge

January 17, 2014
Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        
January 17, 2014
Will Adams
(202) 225-3849


Amash Knocks President’s Surveillance Dodge

Congressman Calls on Congress to Enact Privacy Protections, Pass Freedom Act

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) issued the following statement after President Obama’s speech concerning the government’s domestic surveillance programs:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated . . . .”

The Founders proposed the Fourth Amendment to end once and for all suspicionless searches and seizures of Americans’ personal property and information.

We now know that for some years our government has collected private information about our communications—and in many cases, the communications themselves. The government does this despite the fact that it suspects us of no wrongdoing.

Nothing the President said today will end the unconstitutional invasion of Americans’ privacy.

The President said he will not end the Patriot Act’s Sec. 215 program that collects the records of every phone call every American makes. Instead, he said that the government will continue to search those records without a warrant—but just a little less vigorously.

The President said that when the government issues a subpoena to an Internet service provider for an American’s records, the government still can impose a permanent gag order on the ISP—but just when the government “demonstrates a real need for further secrecy.”

The President said that the era of secret law will continue, that the court decisions that have contorted Congress’s limits on surveillance into broad authorizations will remain secret—but the intelligence officials who have executed mass surveillance and lied to Congress will, in their discretion, release some of the rulings as they see fit.

Congress must do what the President apparently will not: end the unconstitutional violation of Americans’ privacy, stop the suspicionless surveillance of our people, and close the era of secret law.

A coalition of 125 House members from both sides of the aisle have signed on to the USA FREEDOM Act. We must make the Freedom Act law.



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