April 7, 2015—The Patriot Act, as some of you well know, has been used over the last 14 years as a catch-all law, allowing for the mass collection of personal data and other records, most often times without the knowledge of the people involved. These are not terrorists; not dangerous insurgents. More times than not, these are ordinary folks.
Because of the information provided to us by whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden, we now know the all-encompassing reach of the government surveillance machine. And this year, we have a chance to stop it.
On June 1, 2015, the Patriot Act is set to expire unless it can be renewed by Congressional vote. While one would hope that Congress would think of our liberties enough to undo this Act out of principle, the truth isn’t as promising. In fact, hardly anyone is talking about it.
Provisions provided by the Patriot Act, including but not limited to Section 215, allow for mass surveillance of telecommunication records, metadata, personal phone calls and messages, and even pictures sent through the web or cellular device. These things are in direct violation of the liberties provided to the American people by the Constitution. But Congress will not reform this Act without the people pushing them to.
It is up to us to spread the word and share the message. Hit share, write a comment, get people talking about these things, because they matter. And just as importantly, let Congress know what you think. Go to http://www.opencongress.org to email your representatives, and make them listen to the people for a change. We still have a few months; the clock is ticking America.
What will you tell your representatives about the Patriot Act? Let us know in the comments.
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