For anyone who cares about the current issues with government surveillance and the NSA, this is the email I've written to John Mica, Marco Rubio, and Bill Nelson. You can use this as a template to contact your own congressperson and senators respectively.
As a registered voter in Florida’s 7th District, I would like to discuss an issue which greatly concerns me. On May 26, 2011, Congress passed a four-year extension of three expiring Patriot Act provisions without making much-needed changes to the overly broad surveillance bill. The extended provisions are set now set to expire on June 1, 2015: Section 215, Section 206, and Section 6001 of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. These sections deal with business records, “Roving John Doe Wiretaps”, and “Lone Wolf” surveillance respectively.
For clarification; Section 215 is the "Business Records" provision. It allows the government to take "any tangible thing" in relation to a terror investigation, without having to provide any evidence that this “thing” is pertinent to the investigation before violating the individual or business’s privacy. This defies everything about our modern definition of search and seizure, where there must be proof provided that the item is actually relevant to the investigation at hand, and that there is reasonable suspicion of a crime. Section 206 is the "Roving John Doe Wiretap", which allows for requests to tap an unnamed individual or organization, without explanation given for why. This is contrary to every other roving wiretap law, where the government must state what it is particularly looking for, and who they are specifically looking to target. Finally, Section 6001 or the "Lone Wolf" provision allows for spying on any individual regardless of whether or not they are actually known to be affiliated with a terror organization. It is also granted in secret courts, outside the public eye.
These provisions are unconstitutional (directly violating our 4th, 5th, 6th Amendment rights), ineffectual for national security, and a severe violation of our civil liberties. They defy everything about our modern standards for search and seizure, and invade our privacy en masse. When these provisions are up for expiration on June 1st, I would like you to not vote for their renewal, and to let them just expire.
My name is Jeffrey Hepburn, and I'm a young writer, graphic design artist, and aspiring filmmaker.