Tag Archives: Demand Progress

GOP House Intel Chair Urged to Resign Over Russian Space Nuke Scare

“In a time where trust in government is at a historic low, Chairman Turner should resign so that maybe, just maybe, some of that trust can begin to be restored.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-17-2024 by Common Dreams

U.S. House Intelligence Chair Mike Turner (R-Ohio) . Photo: UGLC/flickr/CC

Advocacy groups who support changes to a U.S. government spying program that targets foreigners but sweeps up Americans’ data on Friday joined calls for Congressman Mike Turner to step down from his leadership role in the House of Representatives after the Ohio Republican made moves suspected as an attempt to kill bipartisan surveillance reform efforts.

In a letter to Turner first reported by Politico, Demand Progress, Due Process Institute, FreedomWorks, and Restore the Fourth called for his resignation as chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), writing that “it appears you exploited your privileged access to intelligence to scare your colleagues in an effort to undermine reform of warrantless surveillance laws—and in so doing have undermined your credibility, your committee, and national security.”

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Tracking of Planned Parenthood Visits ‘Should Terrify Every Single American’

Sen. Ron Wyden warns that “if a data broker could track Americans’ cellphones to help extremists” send ads to clinic visitors, “a right-wing prosecutor could use that same information to put women in jail.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 2-14-2024 by Common Dreams

Planned Parenthood- Manitowoc, WI. Photo: Michael Steeber/flickr/CC

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and privacy rights advocates this week are sounding the alarm about an anti-abortion group using cellphone location data to send misinformation to people who visited hundreds of Planned Parenthood clinics across the country.

“If a data broker could track Americans’ cellphones to help extremists target misinformation to people at hundreds of Planned Parenthood locations across the United States, a right-wing prosecutor could use that same information to put women in jail,” Wyden (D-Ore.) said in a statement Tuesday.

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With Overdraft Fee Crackdown, ‘CFPB Is Doing What It Was Designed to Do’

“The CFPB is proposing clear, enforceable rules that will reduce overdraft fees and save Americans billions, closing another lucrative regulatory loophole banks use to prey on consumers,” said one advocate.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 1-17-2024 by Common Dreams

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra testified on a semi-annual report of his agency before the House Financial Services Committee on Nov 29, 2023. Screenshot: C-SPAN

In a move cheered by progressive advocates, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Wednesday proposed a new rule limiting how the nation’s biggest banks can charge overdraft fees.

The CFPB said its proposal “would close an outdated loophole that exempts overdraft lending services from long-standing provisions of the Truth in Lending Act and other consumer financial protection laws.”

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Exposé of ‘Scandalous’ US Spying Sparks Calls for Congress to Act

“These new details add up to a horrifying picture that proves the need for Congress to… enact comprehensive privacy protections for Americans before reauthorizing any spying powers,” said one campaigner.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 11-20-2023 by Common Dreams

A U.S. senator is sounding the alarm about a “long-running dragnet surveillance program” enabling law enforcement to :request often-warrantless searches of trillions of domestic phone records.” Photo: Ivan Radic/flickr/CC

Privacy advocates on Monday renewed demands for swift congressional action on government surveillance in response to new WIRED reporting on a federally funded program through which law enforcement obtains phone records from AT&T.

“This is a long-running dragnet surveillance program in which the White House pays AT&T to provide all federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies the ability to request often-warrantless searches of trillions of domestic phone records,” U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wrote Sunday in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, which WIRED obtained and published in full.

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FCC Chair Confirms Plan to Reinstate Net Neutrality Rules Eviscerated Under Trump

“To allow a handful of monopoly-aspiring gatekeepers to control access to the internet is a direct threat to our democracy,” said Michael Copps, a Common Cause special adviser and former FCC commissioner.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 9-26-2023 by Common Dreams

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel Photo: Internet Education Foundation/flickr/CC

Open internet advocates across the United States celebrated on Tuesday as Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel announced her highly anticipated proposal to reestablish FCC oversight of broadband and restore net neutrality rules.

“We thank the FCC for moving swiftly to begin the process of reinstating net neutrality regulations,” said ACLU senior policy counsel Jenna Leventoff. “The internet is our nation’s primary marketplace of ideas—and it’s critical that access to that marketplace is not controlled by the profit-seeking whims of powerful telecommunications giants.”

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US Bill to Protect Reporters From Exploitative State Spying Heads to House Floor

“Journalists must be able to freely report on government actions without fear the government will compel them to reveal their sources,” said one campaigner.

By Julia Conley. Published 7-19-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Roger H. Goun/CC

Privacy and First Amendment advocates on Wednesday urged the U.S. House to pass legislation that would protect the United States’ bedrock freedoms and a core tenet of journalism: the right of reporters to guard the identities of their sources.

The House Judiciary Committee advanced the Protect Reporters from Exploitative State Spying (PRESS) Act with bipartisan support, despite claims in recent months by Republican lawmakers such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) that the legislation would “immunize journalists and leakers alike from scrutiny and consequences for their actions.”

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FTC Sues Amazon for ‘Scamming’ Millions into Prime Subscription

“Amazon tricked and trapped people into recurring subscriptions without their consent, not only frustrating users but also costing them significant money,” said FTC Chair Lina Khan.

By Kenny Stancil. Published 6-21-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Todd Van Hoosear/flickr/CC

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday sued Amazon for its “yearslong effort to enroll consumers into its Prime program without their consent while knowingly making it difficult for consumers to cancel their subscriptions.”

The agency’s lawsuit accuses Amazon of violating the FTC Act and the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act and seeks a permanent injunction, civil penalties, and monetary relief. It was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, which is located in Seattle, where Amazon is headquartered.

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‘Chilling’: Rights Advocates Blast FBI for Abusing Surveillance Tool 278,000+ Times

“The FBI’s systematic misuse of these resources proves that it (and the rest of the federal government) simply can’t be trusted to wield this sort of power,” said one campaigner. “Let 702 die.”

By Jessica Corbett Published 5-20-2023 by Common Dreams

Image: Data Foundry

Friday’s “alarming” revelations about U.S. law enforcement’s abuse of a powerful surveillance tool “confirmed the worst fears of advocates” and likely further complicated a brewing battle in Congress over reauthorizing a constitutionally dubious spying law.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)—which is set to expire at the end of this year unless reauthorized by federal lawmakers—empowers the U.S. government to engage in warrantless surveillance of electronic communications. Although the law only authorizes targeting foreigners located outside the United States to acquire foreign intelligence information, a massive amount of Americans’ data is also collected.

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‘Shocking’: FBI Director Admits Agency Purchased Geolocation Data of Americans

“Congress must fix this before considering any reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act this year,” said one advocate.

By Julia Conley  Published 3-8-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Plann on Pexels

Privacy advocates on Wednesday said testimony from FBI Director Christopher Wray at a U.S. Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing offers the latest evidence that Congress must take action to keep the government from performing mass surveillance on people across the United States, as Wray admitted the bureau has purchased cellphone geolocation data from companies.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Wray at a hearing about national security threats whether the FBI purchases “U.S. phone geolocation information,” showing the location of users. Continue reading

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Tom Cotton Blocks Senate PRESS Act Designed to Protect Journalists

“Sen. Cotton’s hostility to press freedoms demonstrates exactly why these protections are needed,” said one advocate, calling for inclusion of the bill in an end-of-year spending package.

By Jessica Corbett.  Published 12-14-2022 by Common Dreams

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton on Wednesday blocked the passage of a House-approved bipartisan bill that’s been heralded by advocates as “the most important free press legislation in modern times.”

The Senate had in recent days faced mounting pressure from journalists, press freedom groups, and others to follow the House’s lead and approve the Protect Reporters From Exploitative State Spying (PRESS) Act, spearheaded by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). Continue reading

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