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     Action Alert! Protect the Fourth Amendment!


Action Alert!: Stand Up for Your 4th Amendment Rights! 

Contact your Senator Before Next Tuesday's Vote and Urge Them to Vote Against Telecom Immunity!


Dear GAP Supporter:

In March, GAP client and computer security expert Babak Pasdar disclosed to Congress how a telecommunications Goliath flagrantly disregarded American civil rights and its own customers' privacy. While restructuring the security system of a major telecommunications carrier, Pasdar stumbled upon a "Quantico Circuit," a high-speed digital line that provided the federal government with access to the carrier's entire network. This circuit had neither security controls nor any usage logs to record what information flowed through the system.

Pasdar's whistleblowing disclosures are credited with changing the mind of Representatives in March and convincing them to deny retroactive immunity to telecoms. 

Unfortunately, the House had a change of heart regarding the privacy rights of the American people and pushed through a bill with immunity provisions. That bill was expected to pass the Senate last Friday, but due to an enormous public outcry against the proposal, the vote was delayed. The Senate is on recess this week, but is expected to take up the measure this coming Tuesday, July 8. 

This is where you can make a difference - Demand that telecoms not be granted immunity for their flagrant betrayal of your privacy and civil liberties.

Here's how:

There are currently three proposed Senate amendments that address the question of retroactive immunity - if any of them pass, it would be a great victory:

  • An amendment by Senators Feingold (D-WI), Dodd (D-CT), and Feinstein (D-CA) would cleanly strip telecom immunity. 
  • An amendment by Senator Specter (R-PA) would allow lawsuits against the telecoms to proceed if a district court judge rules that constitutional rights were violated.
  • An amendment by Senator Bingaman (D-NM) would postpone final approval of retroactive immunity until 90 days after completion of an Office of Inspector General report on the full extent of illegal surveillance.

These options will only be "on the table" until next Tuesday, July 8. It is vitally important that you get in touch with your Senator and insist they deny immunity to telecoms.

Only with your help can we uphold true accountability for those corporations who flagrantly violate American civil liberties. 

Please contact your Senator and stand up for your rights! (See our "mock script" below) Click on to find the contact number for your Senator.

Many thanks,

The Government Accountability Project


If you're wondering what to say to you Senator's office, try the following:

Hello! I'm interested in finding out how Senator ______ plans to vote on the security expansion bill on Tuesday - specifically what s/he thinks of the amendments to it that would remove retroactive immunity for the telecoms.

If they support the amendments: "Great! Thanks for standing up for my civil liberties!"

If they do not support the amendments: "I'm disappointed in this decision to ignore my civil liberties!"

If they state they don't have a position yet: "Well, I urge you to vote 'No' on the entire bill. But if you vote 'Yes,' please vote for the amendments removing retroactive immunity. My rights and civil liberties were violated, and these telecoms shouldn't be let off the hook."


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