Thursday, June 6, 2013

Letter to my Senator re US Government domestic spying

I was saddened to find out the US government is spying on all of us, all the time. I guess some cynical part of me always believed that, but actual confirmation of it still felt like a kick in the teeth.

I just sent my Senator this email. You can find out how to contact your Senator here. Feel free to use this text, or your own.


It did not surprise me when the opposition party misused its powers to spy on United States citizens. I was shocked to learn that a Democratic administration would do the same. In both cases I am appalled.

If my own government feels the need to spy on all of us, all the time, I would appreciate you at least being open and honest about it. The fact that the current administration felt that it needed to keep the program top secret seems to me more a reflection on its awareness of the immorality of this spying rather than any efficacy such secrecy would bring.

I would appreciate you:
1. Censuring the Obama administration for misuse of its powers;
2. Forcing the administration to reveal all surveillance being conducted on US citizens without probable cause;
3. Modifying the so-called "Patriot" Act to forbid my government from spying on me in my country unless it has probable cause for believing I have done or will presently do something to endanger my fellow citizens.

This kind of action is not what I was brought up as an American citizen to expect of my government. I understand that the exigencies of politics forces compromise, but I believe that you would not have taken on the difficult job of governing unless you firmly believed in the ideals enshrined in our Constitution and our proud history. I urge you to step back from immediate political concerns and reaffirm the basic democratic freedoms on which we built our great country.

Thank you,

Gerard Neumann
Hoboken, New Jersey

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