Act now to stop surveillance expansion in Massachusetts
This blog was originally posted on Privacy SOS.
Next week, the Massachusetts state senate is set to consider vast new surveillance powers for law enforcement. We cannot allow this dangerous legislation to become law.
We beat back similar privacy-invasive plans last fall, and now we must do it again.
Back in November, advocates and residents in Massachusetts mobilized to defeat a plan to include expansive wiretapping authorities in a landmark criminal justice reform bill. We succeeded in stopping that effort, despite the substantial odds against us. The most powerful politicians in the state all backed the wiretap expansion–the Governor, the Attorney General, the District Attorneys, and even the Senate Chair of the Judiciary Committee, who led the efforts to pass comprehensive criminal justice reform.
But the backers of expanded state surveillance powers are back at their dangerous game. Having lost the battle to include wiretap expansion in the criminal justice bill, they are now trying to sneak similar amendments into the state budget. We cannot let them.
These amendments, like those we killed last fall, would grant law enforcement broad new powers to wiretap people for a laundry list of new reasons—including, as ridiculous as it sounds, for the lowest level drug investigations.
Call your senator right now and tell them to VOTE NO on budget amendment #1074 and any other attempts to expand government wiretap surveillance. Time is short, and your voice will make the difference.
Find your state senator here, and then call. Here’s a sample script you can use:
Hello, my name is [ name ] and I live at [ address ]. I am calling to urge the Senator to vote NO on a dangerous budget amendment that would expand the state wiretap statute. Please tell the senator to vote no on amendment #1074 and any other attempts to expand government wiretap surveillance. This issue is very important to me. Thank you.
Kade Crockford is the director of the ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project.