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

October 2, 2013 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to provide back pay for all federal employees who are being furloughed during the government shutdown. The Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act (H.R. 3223) will ensure that federal employees will be paid, regardless of furlough status.

August 16, 2013 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement on reports of thousands of privacy violations and illegal surveillance each year by the National Security Agency (NSA):

July 24, 2013 Press Release
Voted for final Defense Appropriations bill that funds military tuition assistance programs, ends DoD civilian furloughs
June 26, 2013 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today released the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8:

“I applaud the Court’s decisions to uphold the constitutionally guaranteed protections and equality to which we are all entitled.  Ultimately, government should have no place in the most personal aspects of our lives.  Until that day comes, all people must be treated equally under the law.  The Supreme Court’s ruling is welcome.”

June 7, 2013 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today released the following statement about the reported secret domestic surveillance activities being carried out by the Obama administration to obtain phone records from Verizon customers.

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