The Global Network Initiative submitted comments to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) regarding surveillance programs operated pursuant to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act.
Worldwide concerns about U.S. surveillance practices seriously threaten the United States’ reputation as a champion of Internet freedom. Keeping in mind the global leadership role of the United States, we urge the Board to protect the privacy rights of people around the world, not just in the United States, and demand greater transparency on the part of U.S. government agencies. Specifically, we recommend that the Board urge all government agencies to:
- Address the international human rights implications of U.S. communications surveillance programs.
- Create a process to declassify significant legal opinions to enable oversight of government actions and inform public debate.
- Revise the provisions that restrict discussion of national security demands.
- Encourage the United States to report on its own surveillance requests.