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Stop Warrantless Government Surveillance

What does Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Do?

The law gives the government broad authority to surveil non-Americans located abroad, but targeting Americans is prohibited.

However, Intelligence agencies have used legal loopholes to turn Section 702 into a go-to domestic spying authority. Government Agencies abuse Section 702 by conducting hundreds of thousands of“backdoor” searches for  Americans’ private communications every year.

What Do People in Your State have to say about Government Surveillance?

Common Cause has received thousands of stories from people across the US, many of them reporting feelings of violation and intense distrust of the government. If Congress does not act to defend Americans from government abuse, they risk further eroding public trust in our government– during an election year. 

Interact With Our Story Map Below! 


Section 702 Government Abuses:

  • Violations of Americans Civil Rights- Under Section 702 and other surveillance authorities, intelligence and law enforcement agencies can access Americans’ real-time location information, Americans’ internet activity, and more without a warrant.
  • Lack of accountability- These surveillance programs operate in secret, with no individualized judicial review. Intelligence agencies make their own rules for purchasing private information from Data Brokers and claim to have no catalog of what information they buy and how they use it.
  • Discriminatory Targeting- when intelligence and law enforcement officials can access Americans’ sensitive information without a warrant, they are more likely to rely on political beliefs and racial bias. These abuses are also directed toward political adversaries, protestors, and journalists.


The only bills introduced that included key protections were the The Government Surveillance Reform Act (GSRA) and The Protect Liberty and End Warrantless Surveillance Act (PLEWSA).

  • GSRA would have flatly prohibited the U.S. government from ignoring the Fourth Amendment by requiring search warrants for surveilling Americans’ data.
  • PLEWSA would have also required a warrant for backdoor searches of communications content. However, it did not regulate surveillance performed by the use of stingrays, or the collection of car data.

Reforming Section 702 alone will not rein in warrantless government surveillance. Congress must pass real reform with protections for Americans against government abuse:

4th Amendment Protection: require the government to obtain a warrant before performing backdoor searches and closing the data broker loophole

Judicial Review and Accountability: improve the workings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court which oversees requests for surveillance warrants.

It’s Time To Hold Our Legislators Accountable for Protecting American’s Right To Privacy

Join the Thousands Calling on Congress to stop Warrantless Government Surveillance

Does YOUR Legislator respect your right to privacy? Take these quick actions to help Common Cause hold power accountable for protecting our 4th ammendment right to privacy.

Contact Your Legislators

I contacted my members of Congress urging them to REJECT any attempts to expand government surveillance, and support real reform instead – and I hope that you will, too!

Share Your Story

Help us make make sure that Congress is accountable to real people, not special interests! Share your reactions and reasons for opposing government surveillance.

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