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. In the 114th Congress, she introduced 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. To follow the status of the SPOT Act, click here.

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.

More on Privacy & Civil Liberties

April 15, 2016 Press Release

Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement today after voting against H.R. 2666, the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act: 

March 31, 2016 Press Release

Today in Honolulu, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) visited Chaminade University, where she met with the school’s president, Brother Bernie Ploeger, SM, Ph.D., Vice President for Institutional Advancement Diane Peters-Nguyen, Board of Regents Chair Vaughn Vasconcellos, and students from Hawaiʻi, Guam, American Samoa, and Norway. They discussed reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, and the unique educational opportunities at Chaminade, including programs for veterans and students from abroad.

March 2, 2016 Press Release
Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) spoke on the House floor to recognize Women’s History Month and honor Patsy Mink as a life-long advocate for civil rights and equal opportunity.
February 16, 2016 Press Release

This morning in Kaneʻohe, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) toured the Marimed Foundation’s campus, farm, and ship to learn about the organization’s experiential-based therapy as an alternative to incarceration for court appointed juveniles in Windward Oʻahu. The young men enrolled in the program learn to farm, fish, and sail, work as a member of a team, and develop life skills, while earning school credits.  Many of them have their sights set on attending college, teaching, farming, or serving in the military—opportunities they had never considered possible.

January 12, 2016 Press Release
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) will be welcoming Kemba Smith, a national advocate for criminal justice reform and founder of the Kemba Smith Foundation, as her guest at tonight’s State of the Union address. 

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