Amnesty International USA Executive Director Calls on Supreme Court to Allow Challenge to the U.S. Government's Warrantless Surveillance Program

Press Release
October 29, 2012

Amnesty International USA Executive Director Calls on Supreme Court to Allow Challenge to the U.S. Government's Warrantless Surveillance Program

Contact: Carol Gregory, cgregory@aiusa.org, (202) 413-8531

Amnesty International USA released the following statement regarding the October 29 Supreme Court hearing on the challenge to the FISA Amendments Act of 2008:

(Washington, DC) -- The Obama Administration, under the guise of a war on terror, has tried to ban judicial review of the constitutionality of the law that in 2008 expanded the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping program. The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 casts a wide net that is ensnaring individuals who are not suspected of wrongdoing and infringing on their rights. The government’s Catch-22 argument that no one has standing to challenge this program because no one can prove that they have been targeted must not be allowed to immunize this far-reaching wiretapping regime from legal review.

"The government’s policy of monitoring at will Americans’ international telephone and email is akin to the type of shameful activities associated with the McCarthy era, and it violates the human right to privacy.  No one should be subjected to interception of their private communications without the government presenting specific evidence to a judge who can independently evaluate on a case-by-case basis whether the specific evidence justifies the interference with the individual's right to privacy,” said Suzanne Nossel, executive director, Amnesty International USA.

It is the responsibility of the U.S. Supreme Court to fully review the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. This law goes against the basic tenets of a free and democratic society, and will set a dangerous precedent for encroachments on rights around the world.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers 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.