Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Heinrich is my hero on this one

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich put a hold on an intelligence bill over what his office calls a “massive expansion of government surveillance.” Heinrich’s office announced the hold on the Intelligence Authorization Act, which essentially blocks the legislation, on Tuesday morning. Heinrich said that he is doing so because of concerns over the constitutionality of the expanded authorization for domestic surveillance. At issue are National Security Letters, which the federal government can use to get information without approval from a judge. The Electronic Privacy Information Center says the letters give “the FBI the power to compel the disclosure of customer records held by banks, telephone companies, Internet Service Providers, and others.” The proposal would expand the list of information the FBI could get using these letters. “This represents a massive expansion of government surveillance and gives the FBI access to law-abiding Americans’ email and browser histories without judicial approval or independent oversight,” Heinrich said in a statement. “There is no question that our Intelligence Community needs the ability to collect critical information to guard against terrorist threats. However, the government shouldn’t have access to every Google search you’ve ever made and emails you’ve ever sent or received without a court order. Obtaining this warrant is straightforward and the FBI simply needs to establish a reasonable connection to terrorism or national security.”...more

Thank you Senator Heinrich for stepping forward on this important privacy issue.  Let's hope your action results in the death of this amendment.  It takes fortitude to put a hold on legislation of this type and your leadership is applauded.

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