WASHINGTON (June 11, 2013) -– The R Street Institute today joined a coalition of nearly 100 technology firms and civil liberties organizations who are calling on Congress to investigate domestic spying by the National Security Agency and other federal agencies.

Spurred by recent revelations that the NSA has been conducting a massive, secretive surveillance campaign that has included blanket collection of Americans’ phone records and Internet activity, the Stop Watching Us coalition also urges legislative action to reform laws that have enabled the most egregious breaches of Americans’ privacy, including the USA Patriot Act and FISA Amendment Act, as well as the general legal principle of state secrets privilege.

“This type of blanket data collection by the government strikes at bedrock American values of freedom and privacy,” the groups write in their petition to Congress. “This dragnet surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which protect citizens’ right to speak and associate anonymously and guard against unreasonable searches and seizures that protect their right to privacy.”

The coalition has brought together groups from across the political and cultural spectrum to stand up for American’s constitutional rights. Other signatories to the petition include the American Civil Liberties Union, American Library Association, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Consumer Watchdog, Electronic Frontier Foundation, 4Chan, FreedomWorks, Greenpeace USA, Mozilla, People for the American Way, reddit, the Sunlight Foundation, Taxpayers Protection Alliance and TechFreedom.

“President Obama once pledged he would lead the most transparent Administration in history,” said R Street Senior Fellow Zach Graves. “The disclosure of NSA’s massive spying apparatus targeting American citizens is only the latest in a string of scandals highlighting the failure of that promise, and the dim view the president takes of his oath to uphold the ‘right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects’ guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.”

Members of the public may view and sign the petition at the campaign’s website, StopWatching.us.

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