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January 20, 2014

What will Obama’s NSA speech accomplish?

President Obama's NSA speech was somewhat better than we expected. Under pressure from Intelligence Community extremists to maintain the status quo, he instead proposed SOME reforms the American people want.

But they're just a fraction of what's needed. That's why I told my Representative and Senators to end federal abuses using's Obey the Constitution Campaign.

The hardwired message says simply…

You swore an oath to obey the Constitution. Honor that oath. Abide by the Constitution's limits on federal power.

You may borrow from or copy this sample letter…

That's why you must end surveillance abuses by the NSA, FBI, and other federal agencies.

I'm somewhat encouraged that President Obama's NSA speech last week proposed a few  steps in the right direction. The President (…

* opposes legislation that would maintain the status quo,
* seeks independent advocates in the FISA court,
* wants to review FISA court documents for declassification every year,
* would end gag orders on recipients of “subpoenas” issued by federal agents without court-issued warrants.

But the President was vague about other needed reforms, such as…

* ending telephone metadata collection
* protecting the privacy rights of foreigners (they have the same rights as U.S. citizens!)
* a full review of federal surveillance practices

Worse, he proposes NO reforms on…

* whistleblower protection
* providing defendants with surveillance evidence related to their cases, as required by the 5th and 6th Amendments
* the “Third Party Doctrine” which claims you have no right to privacy when you hire a service provider to store your electronic information


I DO NOT CONSENT to ANY of these programs. They are all criminal. They all violate both my human rights, and my Constitutional rights.

You are supposed to provide a check and a balance to the Executive Branch. Do your job. Pass legislation to end all warrantless spying.

I'll be watching what you do.


Send your letter using's Educate the Powerful System.

You will receive a copy of your letter to Congress via email. Please share your letter with friends. Ask them to take the same action.

And we at thank the Electonic Frontier Foundation for its analysis of Obama’s speech, which was very helpful.

James Wilson
Policy Research Director, Inc.

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