Last night in the United States House of Representatives the Amash Amendment was narrowly defeated by a vote of 217 – 205. Approximately 94 Republicans and 111 Democrats voted for the measure that would have put a stop to large scale domestic spying on Americans, while 134 Republicans and 83 Democrats voted against it. Six Republicans and 6 Democrats abstained from voting or were not present. The Amendment was a rider to the massive defense bill.
TechDirt has a list of all those who voted for or against the amendment here (thanks EZK) and you can let your elected representative know how you feel about it by searching for their name and contacting them through House.gov…
The moral of this story is that the House is clearly divided on this issue just like the country is. Domestic spying on all Americans in the name of protecting us to fight terrorism goes too far and is an extreme overreach of government.
Groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation have vowed to continue fighting this issue at every turn.
"This amendment reflected the deep discomfort of Americans who don’t want the government collecting data on them indiscriminately. This type of surveillance is unnecessary and unconstitutional, a needless return to the general warrants that our country’s founders fought against," said Kurt Opsahl, EFF Senior Staff Attorney.
While Congress doesn't have the stomach to do what is right for the people, the EFF points out that the battle is heading to a courtroom soon. Earlier this month it filed a lawsuit (First Unitarian v. NSA) concerning the surveillance agency's collection of phone records. Earlier this month, a federal court rejected the government’s assertion of the state secrets privilege in Jewel v. NSA, allowing that case to continue.