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

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.

June 4, 2013 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) celebrated this month’s 41st anniversary of the signing of Congresswoman Patsy Mink’s historic Title IX legislation into law. At an event organized by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the congresswoman spoke of Title IX’s impact with a group of middle school-aged female athletes, Washington Mystics WNBA players, and supporters of equal opportunity in public schools.

April 19, 2013 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today released the following statement on her vote against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday by a vote of 288-127.

April 18, 2013 Press Release

 Watson, A Kamehameha Schools Graduate, Will Be Sole Native Hawaiian Serving On Federal Bench

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