CONGRESSMAN LIEU STATEMENT ON NSA SEARCH OF HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF PRIVATE EMAILS

October 4, 2016
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington - Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) issued the following statement in light of the news that Yahoo, at the request of the NSA or the FBI, searched hundreds of millions of private emails.

"If true, the government’s directive to Yahoo to write a software program and search all of its customers’ incoming emails for certain content is a gross abuse of federal power.  Private sector companies and private citizens are not an arm of law enforcement or an extension of our intelligence agencies. 

“The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is clear: government cannot search or seize your private information without a warrant.  Law enforcement and the NSA did not have warrants for the hundreds of millions of customers that had their privacy violated.

“This revelation is particularly troubling because Congress, on a bipartisan basis, reigned in the NSA’s unconstitutional bulk collection of phone records last year.  It appears law enforcement and the NSA have continued to violate the Constitution and the American people’s right to privacy despite clear signals from Congress to follow the Constitution.  Forcing a private sector company to search emails is even worse than the NSA’s bulk collection program because now the federal government is seizing and searching content, not just meta data, without a warrant. 

“This is big brother on steroids and it must be stopped."

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