Congress Tag - ACLU of North Carolina Mon, 22 May 2017 13:20:33 -0400 en-gb ACLU Delivers 60,000 Signatures Calling for End to Section 215 of the Patriot Act

RALEIGH – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina delivered tens of thousands of signatures today to the Raleigh office of U.S. Senator Thom Tillis calling for an end to Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

More than 60,000 Americans have signed the American Civil Liberties Union’s petition—including 1,211 North Carolina residents. These petitions are being delivered to every member of the U.S. Senate on Friday, May 29, in advance of the chamber’s special session on the issue on Sunday, May 31. The petition is the latest sign that the American public believes government surveillance has gone too far.

Polling released this month, conducted by a bipartisan pair of research firms, has found decisive support among voters for meaningful and comprehensive reform to the U.S. government’s surveillance practices. The polling, which included a nationwide survey as well as polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, and North Carolina, found approximately two thirds of Americans, including nearly two thirds of North Carolinians, believe the Patriot Act should not be reauthorized in its current form. This is true of men and women of all ages and – most importantly – across the political spectrum from liberal to conservative. 

The courts have also found the government’s surveillance of American citizen’s needs to be reined in. A federal appeals court – in a case brought by the ACLU – has found this nationwide call record program illegal.

Section 215 – and two other sections of the Patriot Act – is scheduled to sunset on Monday, June 1. Under Section 215, the NSA collects records of Americans’ phone calls every day, giving the government a detailed picture of innocent citizens’ lives and relationships.

mmeno [AT] acluofnc [DOT] org (Mike Meno) Privacy Fri, 29 May 2015 08:53:31 -0400
Poll of North Carolina Voters Shows Clear Support for Ending the Patriot Act in Its Current Form

NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union released the results of a poll today showing decisive support among North Carolina voters for substantive reform to the U.S. government’s surveillance practices. The survey, conducted jointly by a bipartisan pair of research firms, found nearly two-thirds of respondents in North Carolina believe that the Patriot Act should not be reauthorized in its current form. 

This support for reform remains constant regardless of party affiliation, age, or gender. Millennials and independents, in particular, favor reining in the government’s authority to surveil American citizens. The poll also found four in five North Carolina voters are concerned that the government is storing American’s personal information.

There was considerable consensus around several arguments in favor of strengthening Americans’ privacy rights. Eighty-three percent of respondents found it persuasive that the local police and the FBI should have a get a warrant in order to search phone and email records. Similarly, 80 percent believed that the government’s current ability to access personal conversations was a reason to implement reform. In addition, 73 percent favored protecting communication between pastors and their congregants from government surveillance.

Congress is currently considering reauthorizing components of the Patriot Act, including the controversial Section 215. This provision is being used to authorize bulk collection of telephone metadata despite a federal appeals court ruling earlier this month finding the program illegal – a case brought to court and argued by the ACLU.

The poll, conducted by Global Strategy Group and G² Public Strategies, surveyed 400 likely voters in North Carolina between April 24 and April 28, 2015.

The poll results are at:

mmeno [AT] acluofnc [DOT] org (Mike Meno) Privacy Mon, 18 May 2015 16:25:06 -0400
After Supreme Court Decision, Congress Must Act to Protect Voting Rights

RALEIGH – Today, in a 5-4 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act cannot be enforced until Congress revisits the formula used to determine which states and localities require federal approval to change voting laws.

Jennifer Rudinger, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, released the following statement:

“The Voting Rights Act is one of the most important civil rights laws in American history and has played a vital role in protecting the voting rights of North Carolinians from its passage in 1965 to the present. With attempts to suppress voting becoming more common and more sophisticated across the country, and North Carolina’s legislature poised to approve legislation that will make it harder for thousands of eligible state voters to cast a ballot by requiring forms of ID that many North Carolinians lack and cannot easily obtain, the need for such protections is more urgent than ever. Unless Congress acts promptly to make sure that the federal government has the tools it needs to protect voting rights, today’s decision could leave many North Carolinians vulnerable to attempts to exclude them from the democratic process. We urge Congress to act without delay.”

More information about Shelby County v. Holder is available here:

mmeno [AT] acluofnc [DOT] org (Mike Meno) Voting Rights Tue, 25 Jun 2013 12:32:37 -0400