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.