Dear Albany Area Friends,

Sorry for the mass email, but I'm writing to share an opportunity for activism that I think might interest you all. As you may have been following, the recent revelations regarding domestic spying by the National Security Agency have revealed mass suspicion-less spying, some of which has been illegally and secretly used for drug prosecutions. In brief, we'd like to encourage you to meet with you congressional reps when they are home for the congressional recess this month. We think it could have a huge impact.

The revelations present a historic opportunity to push our congressional representatives to take action to protect civil liberties. For over a decade, civil liberties have taken a beating in Congress, often facilitating, among other things, the unjust prosecution of Muslims. The tide of opinion both nationally and in Congress is beginning to turn against the dragnet spying programs that sweep up all Americans phone call and internet data. The August congressional recess presents a rare opportunity to project influence at the federal level, by focusing members of Congress when they are most sensitive to popular dissent: while visiting their home districts. 

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee has created a guide to meeting with your Congressional representatives during the August recess, with tips on how to frame the issues and which bills that that tackle domestic spying and other PATRIOT Act abuses are the most crucial to support. Please read the guide, distribute it to your members, and urge them to contact their representatives. Prior to meeting with your member of Congress you can see how they voted on an amendment in the House of Representatives (The Amash Amendment) that would have defunded part of the NSA's domestic spying program. Please thank them for their vote if they supported the amendment, and challenge them if they voted against it.

Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions,


Michael Figura
Legal Fellow
Bill of Rights Defense Committee