Amnesty International on President Obama's Call to End Bulk Data Collection: Devil in the Detail

Press Release
March 25, 2014

Amnesty International on President Obama's Call to End Bulk Data Collection: Devil in the Detail

Contact: Gabe Cahn, gabe@westendstrategy.com, 202.776.7700, c: 202.412.1678

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - In response to reports that President Obama will propose changes to the NSA's collection of U.S. telephone information under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, Zeke Johnson, Director of Amnesty USA's Security & Human Rights Program, issued the following statement: 

"The devil is in the detail. If reports about the White House proposal are true, the key questions are whether dragnet collection ends altogether and whether judicial review is sufficient. That said, Congress already has an opportunity in the USA Freedom Act to pass robust privacy protections against bulk collection. Moreover, even if meaningful reforms to Section 215 of the Patriot Act are passed, far more must be done to uphold the privacy rights of non-Americans - the vast majority of the world. On that front, Section 702 of the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act must be repealed and any use of surveillance, anywhere, must comport with human rights safeguards."

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million members in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.