Privacy & Civil Liberties

Since 9/11, millions of Americans have been kept in the dark about the collection of personal data by our own government in the name of national security, without any evidence that such intrusive actions were effective in preventing attacks on our country. In 2013, the sweeping collection of innocent Americans’ personal data by the National Security Agency was exposed. This blatant disregard for the protection of our civil liberties and privacy rooted in the Fourth Amendment of our Constitution, flies in the face of those from generations past and present who have given their lives to protect the freedoms that make our country great. We must always remember and honor the principles of freedom that they sacrificed for. 

A strong national defense and the protection of our civil liberties are equally important and compatible. We can strike the necessary balance between freedom and security by reforming our surveillance practices and directing the resources we have toward proven methods of eliminating threats to the safety and security of the American people. 

 

“I firmly believe that a strong national defense and the protection of our civil liberties are equally important and compatible.” -Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi has continued to support legislation that better meets the balanced responsibility of protecting our civil liberties and ensuring a strong national defense. She has introduced legislation like the Strengthening Privacy, Oversight, and Transparency (SPOT) Act to expand the functions of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). The SPOT Act would give the PCLOB greater ability to carry out its function of balancing the government’s national security and counterterrorism activities with the need to protect the privacy and civil liberties of law-abiding Americans. In addition, the bill would make all five board members full-time and help prevent a lingering vacancy from impeding the PCLOB's important work. 

Our laws regarding freedom, privacy, and civil liberties have not kept up with the rapid expansion of technology in today’s digital age. Tulsi recently helped launch the bipartisan Fourth Amendment Caucus to protect the privacy and security of Americans in the digital age and to ensure that the Fourth Amendment rights granted to each and every American under our Constitution are protected and strengthened. Tulsi has also strongly supported legislation like the Email Privacy Act and Electronic Communications Privacy Amendments Act to make much needed and long overdue updates our online privacy laws.

In the 115th Congress, Tulsi voted against legislation to reauthorize the warrantless collection of Americans' calls, emails, texts and other communications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. She joined a bipartisan coalition in introducing the USA RIGHTS amendment to protect the privacy of Americans’ communications and end warrantless backdoor searches of Americans' communications. She also introduced the Preventing Unconstitutional Collection Act (H.R.2588) to permanently codify protections on Americans’ privacy.

 

More on Privacy & Civil Liberties

May 18, 2020 Press Release
Honolulu, HI—On Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. HST, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) will be hosting her weekly tele-town hall meeting to update Hawai‘i residents about COVID-19. She recently returned from Washington, D.C. where she voted on H.R.6800, the HEROES Act.
May 14, 2020 Press Release
Honolulu, HI—Yesterday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) hosted a telephone town hall to update Hawai‘i residents about the coronavirus crisis, before heading to Washington, D.C. for a scheduled vote on the next emergency assistance bill introduced in the U.S. House this week. On the call she was joined by Lt. Governor Josh Green, a physician and one of Hawai‘i’s leaders overseeing the state’s response to the pandemic.
November 20, 2019 Press Release
Washington, DC—Today, the House Judiciary Committee voted to pass H.R.3884, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, which Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) introduced with Chair Jerry Nadler (NY-10). The bill passed with a bipartisan vote, 24-10, and now awaits consideration by the full House. 
 
July 24, 2019 Press Release
Washington, DC—Yesterday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) joined House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler (NY-10) in introducing the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act. This comprehensive bill addresses the decriminalization of marijuana as well as criminal justice issues that have disproportionately impacted underserved communities as part of America’s “War on Drugs.”
 
April 11, 2019 Press Release
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) issued the following statement in response to the arrest of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange in London earlier this morning by British police.
 

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