The US House of Representatives voted against prohibiting the unconstitutional and warrantless surveillance of Americans as authorized by Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act in an amendment to a government spending bill. The vote was 175 to 253. Other amendments to limit the use of facial recognition technology by the federal government also failed.
For the Massachusetts delegation, Representatives Clark, Kennedy, Lynch, McGovern, Neal and Pressley voted for our right to privacy. Keating and Trahan voted to continue unconstitutional and warrantless surveillance. Moulton abstained.
While the fight in the House is likely over for now, we can still win in Massachusetts. We urge you to contact your representative and tell them to oppose facial recognition surveillance and other “at a distance” biometric tracking technology by supporting two bills:
Both bills contain a ban on biometric surveillance technology without passing a bill to authorize it: “Absent express statutory authorization, it shall be unlawful for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or any Massachusetts government official to acquire, possess, access, or use any biometric surveillance system, or acquire, possess, access, or use information derived from a biometric surveillance system operated by another entity.” Both bills are supported by the ACLU and we will help with getting them passed in the Massachusetts General Court.
Hearings are coming up and we need as many people as we can to speak in favor of S.1385 and H.1538. If you want to speak for these bills, start preparing your testimony now and email us so we can save a space for you at the hearing.