Civil Liberty Groups Team Up Against PRISM

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), reddit, Mozilla, FreedomWorks, and the American Civil Liberties Union have joined an 86-strong coalition of civil liberties organizations and Internet companies that oppose the NSA’s recently exposed data gathering operation.

SiliconAngle’s Mike Wheatley called PRISM a “massive, warrantless government surveillance program.” The coalition went a step further and denounced PRISM as illegal in an open letter sent to Congress. Here’s the relevant snippet:

“This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy. This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens’ right to speak and associate anonymously and guard against unreasonable searches and seizures that protect their right to privacy.”

The letter was accompanied by the launch of a petition that asks Internet users to “demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA’s spying programs.” You can find it on the appropriately named website

Besides increased transparency, the group is pushing for changes to Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, the state secrets privilege, and the FISA Amendment Act, which the letter deems “unconstitutional.” The coalition also calls on Congress to assemble a special committee to investigate the extent of PRISM, make recommendations for legal and regulatory reforms, and persecute the officials who are responsible for the program. This initiative doesn’t come as a surprise. Last week’s revelation that the U.S. government is collecting data from service providers and major tech firms caused an uproar in the media and beyond. The story took another turn earlier this week, when the anonymous source behind the leak revealed his identity.

Ed Snowden is a former defense contractor who worked at the NSA for the past four years. SiliconAngle Contributing Editor John Casaretto discussed Snowden’s decision to expose himself in a recent Newsdesk segment: “He basically chose to reveal himself because he had no intention of hiding because he says that he has done nothing wrong. So he really wanted to be public about it, and I think he feels that he’s insulated from some of the things he felt could happen to be him by just coming out and saying hey, it was me.”

RELATED:  Do police body cameras protect the public?

For the full analysis on Snowden, check out the video below.


Maria Deutscher

Maria Deutscher

Maria Deutscher is a staff writer for SiliconANGLE covering all things enterprise and fresh. Her work takes her from the bowels of the corporate network up to the great free ranges of the open-source ecosystem and back on a daily basis, with the occasional pit stop in the world of end-users. She is especially passionate about cloud computing and data analytics, although she also has a soft spot for stories that diverge from the beaten track to provide a more unique perspective on the complexities of the industry.
Maria Deutscher


Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!