Amnesty International Supports the USA Freedom Act

Press Release
October 29, 2013

Amnesty International Supports the USA Freedom Act

The human rights organization calls on Congress to pass the legislation

Contact: Gabe Cahn, gabe@westendstrategy.com, 202-776-7700

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Amnesty International supports the USA Freedom Act as introduced today as a significant improvement over current legislation and an important step toward what should be Congress' ultimate goal: ending the U.S. mass surveillance program.

Said Zeke Johnson, Director of Amnesty International USA's Security with Human Rights Campaign:

"Finally, Congress has introduced a bill to reform the NSA mass surveillance program that everyone should support. It's not perfect, but it is an important step in the right direction and Congress should pass it."

Particularly notable are: the bill's creation of an Office of the Special Advocate, with strong authority to take part in cases and appeal them; an opening for the participation of amici curiae; and new requirements of disclosures of the courts' opinions. Also positive are requirements throughout the bill of greater reporting on what kind of surveillance is used and how many people are affected.

However, Amnesty International is deeply concerned that the bill retains discriminatory distinctions between the rights of U.S. citizens and non-citizens. Any final solution to the mass surveillance program must uphold the rights of all people equally without distinction based on national origin or other discriminatory factors.

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.