California Senate requests Congress to reconsider vote to halt secret NSA surveillance

September 06, 2013
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Message to Congressmembers who stood up to NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance: “We have your backs”

SACRAMENTO – California State Senators to members of Congress:

Please try again to stop the illegal snooping of American citizens; our freedoms may depend on it.

Such was the essence of Senate Resolution 16 approved today by a bipartisan 31-1 vote on a measure urging Congress to reconsider its recent vote to halt the U.S. National Security Agency’s massive phone and internet records collection program on Americans.

SR 16 is co-authored by Sens. Ted W. Lieu, D-Torrance, and Joel Anderson, R-San Diego.

“We have introduced this bipartisan resolution to urge the House of Representatives to stop massive NSA surveillance of all Americans.  Congress was very close to passing bipartisan legislation to stop the NSA’s unconstitutional searches and seizures,” Lieu said.  “This resolution tells members of Congress who voted for the legislation, and especially the California delegation members, that we have your backs and we urge you to bring another proposal to the floor.  The resolution also signals to those members who did not vote for the proposal that the constituents in California believe following the Constitution is the highest duty.”

Anderson agreed.

“Maintaining and upholding the public’s trust is paramount,” Anderson said.  “Americans have an expectation of privacy in their telephone records and internet transactions and it is invaded when the government collects this data without a warrant.”

Below is a complete copy of the language of SR 16:

This measure would urge the Congress of the United States to pass legislation to end the National Security Agency’s collection of American telephone records and specifically to bar the National Security Agency and other agencies from using Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act to collect records, including telephone records, pertaining to persons not subject to an investigation under the USA PATRIOT Act.

WHEREAS, Section 215 of the USA PATRIOA Act (50 U.S.C. Sec. 1861) authorizes the government to collect “tangible things” that are “relevant” to an authorized national security investigation; and

WHEREAS, The National Security Agency (NSA) has reportedly used Section 215 to collect metadata on every telephone call made or received by every American over the last seven years; and

WHEREAS, This metadata collected by the NSA was not limited to dialed numbers, but also included the telephone numbers of incoming calls, the times of calls, and call routing information; and

WHEREAS, Many legislators who voted for the USA PATRIOT Act, including the past chairman of the authorizing committee of that law, have stated that NSA’s blanket surveillance program goes far beyond what the USA PATRIOT Act was intended to do; and

WHEREAS, The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, Jr., has admitted to misleading Congress about the actual scope of the call record surveillance program; and

WHEREAS, Sec. 215 is silent as to how the government may use these records once it has obtained them; and

WHEREAS, The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”; and

WHEREAS, The United States Constitution, including the Fourth Amendment, applies at all times to all government agencies and all government employees; and

WHEREAS, All Americans cannot reasonably be considered to be suspicious simply for making or receiving telephone calls; and

WHEREAS, The NSA’s seizure of the telephone records of all Americans is therefore an “unreasonable seizure” by any definition of the term; and

WHEREAS, The bipartisan Amash-Conyers amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (H.R. 2397) would have ended the NSA’s blanket seizure of the telephone records of Americans, but was narrowly defeated on July 24, 2013; and

WHEREAS, On August 1, 2013, United States Senator Al Franken introduced legislation, the Surveillance Transparency Act of 2013 (S. 1452), that would expand and improve ongoing government reporting about programs under the USA PATRIOT Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and make it easier for companies to voluntarily disclose information about the data the government requires them to collect;

Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, That the Senate urges the President and the Congress of the United States to pass legislation that ends the NSA’s blanket, unreasonable, and unconstitutional collection of all Americans’ telephone records and specifically to bar the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act to collect records, including telephone records, pertaining to persons not subject to an investigation under the USA PATRIOT Act; and be it further

Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the Majority Leader of the Senate, and to each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States, and to the author for appropriate distribution.

For more, please visit Lieu’s Web site at the address below.

Ted W. Lieu represents the more than 1 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Beverly Hills, Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Torrance, West Hollywood and the Palos Verdes Peninsula as well as portions of Long Beach and Los Angeles including, Beverly Glenn, Brentwood, Cheviot Hills, Harbor City, Hollywood Hills, Marina del Rey, Mar Vista, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, San Pedro, Venice, Westwood and Wilmington. See a district map HERE: For more, visit
CONTACT: Ray Sotero
Communications Director
Sen. Ted W. Lieu, Senate District 28
Capitol Building, Room 4061
Sacramento, Calif. 95814
(916) 651-4028 office




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