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PATRIOT ACT EXPIRES

June 01, 2015
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GAP WHISTLEBLOWERS PLAY CRITICAL ROLE IN BRINING DEBATE TO FOREFRONT OF NATIONAL DISCUSSION

(WASHINGTON) ­– Last night, the USA Freedom Act, which would impose restraints on the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) bulk data collection program overcame a massive procedural hurdle that may allow the act to pass later this week. While this would only serve as a small improvement to the status quo, it reflects the fact that Congress is beginning to hear the majority of Americans who oppose the NSA’s mass surveillance operations. Congress should recognize that the USA Freedom Act is the first rung of a tall ladder to the meaningful surveillance reform that Americans will increasingly demand.

It has been more than a decade since the NSA began spying on hundreds of millions of Americans, and two years since Edward Snowden sacrificed life as he knew it to tell the world the truth about the NSA's (215) bulk collection program, prompting worldwide outrage. During this time, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) has represented NSA whistleblowers Bill Binney, Kirk Wiebe and Ed Loomis, who resigned from NSA soon after September 11, 2001 to stand up for the constitutional rights of Americans. GAP client and NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake put his reputation and livelihood on the line to fight against corruption in the NSA, prompting a failed Justice Department prosecution that collapsed under the weight of truth. Thanks to these brave whistleblowers, it is now clearer than ever that the NSA's bulk data collection program invaded Americans' privacy, violated the law, and failed to stop even a single terrorist attack. Both the Government Accountability Project's clients and its advocacy on surveillance have made this watershed moment happen. For the first time since the Patriot Act's passage, Congress has finally said "not again.”

GAP’s Director of National Security and Human Rights, Jesselyn Radack, stated:

"While advocates of open government should celebrate the fact that the worst provisions of the Patriot Act sunset early this morning, a monumental fight lies ahead of us. While the USA Freedom Act would serve as a miniscule improvement to what was previously on the books, it is important that we continue to fight for more meaningful surveillance reforms. GAP is committed to this effort, and is thankful to the whistleblowers who worked so closely with us to even make this debate possible.”

 

CONTACT:
ANDREW HARMAN, GAP Communications Director
(202) 457-0034, ext. 156
andrewh@whistleblower.org

Government Accountability Project

The Government Accountability Project is the nation's leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP's mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.

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