Recently, I again wrote my Senators and Congressman about the NSA collection of data. This was done as part of an organized campaign — The Day We Fight Back — on February 11th, 2014. Partnered with EFF.org, there were pre-written letters to send your representatives:
As your constituent, I am deeply concerned about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) mass surveillance programs. We need real reform to stop the NSA’s mass collection of our information.
I urge you to support the USA Freedom Act (H.R. 3361/S. 1599), an important first step in stopping mass spying, reforming the FISA court, and increasing transparency. But reform shouldn’t stop there: please push for stronger privacy protections that stop dragnet surveillance of innocent users across the globe, and stop the NSA from sabotaging international encryption standards.
I’m also urging you to oppose S. 1631, the so-called FISA Improvements Act. This bill aims to entrench some of the worst forms of NSA surveillance and extend the NSA surveillance programs in unprecedented ways. It would allow the NSA to continue to collect the phone records of hundreds of millions of Americans not suspected of any crime—a program I absolutely oppose—and could expand into collecting records of Internet usage.
The NSA mass surveillance programs chill freedom of speech, undermine confidence in US Internet companies, and run afoul of the Constitution. We need reform now.
I sent my letters to Ted Yoho, Marco Rubio, and Bill Nelson (Florida FTW). Today, I received my response from Marco Rubio:
Dear Mr. Posner,
Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding the National Security Agency’s data collection programs to safeguard our nation. This is an important issue and I am grateful for your thoughts as well as the opportunity to respond.
Our intelligence collection programs are vital tools used by the government to defend the security of the U.S. homeland. As you know, President Obama has recently made some suggestions to alter these programs; I am concerned his recommendations go too far and may make it more difficult for the government to carry out its constitutional responsibility to keep Americans safe.
Over the past several months, we’ve had a vigorous debate following the damaging leaks that revealed the existence of many programs. The collection programs we have in place are legally authorized and receive robust oversight from Congress as well as the judiciary.
As changes are proposed by members of Congress and the administration, I and other members of the intelligence committee will closely examine their impact to ensure keeping our people safe is our foremost goal while maintaining proper safeguards against unnecessary intrusions of our people’s civil liberties.
In this ongoing war against terrorism, the vital work of the men and women of the intelligence community is our front line of defense. We need to ensure that those who work in the intelligence community have the tools they need to piece together information in order to defend our nation as well as our allies. Please know that I will continue to follow this situation closely and ensure that any privacy concern is heard and addressed appropriately.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your United States Senator. I appreciate you offering your opinion on this important issue. If I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.
United States Senator
Sound familiar? It did to me… so then I looked up my previous response from Rubio regarding the NSA and noticed a few similarities / copied sentences. Of course, he’s no stranger to cutting and pasting.
To be clear, for those of you who don’t know me…
I’m not a Democrat.
I’m not a Republican.
I am an American. I am a registered NPA (no party affiliation voter) that believes in the constitution, limited government, fair taxing, and personal freedom.
If I had to be lumped in a political party, it would probably be libertarian… but that’s a rant for another day.
Today, I just get to be (continually) disappointed with my representatives — none of whom supported the Freedom Act.