New Yorkers have a right to expect that their private conversations remain private. The Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program targeting American citizens was an assault on privacy rights and the rule of law. The NYCLU was outspoken in its criticism of this unconstitutional surveillance program. It has challenged the domestic spying program’s constitutionality in court. It also has demanded that telecommunications companies be held responsible if they colluded with the government to spy on American citizens. In July 2008, Congress capitulated to the Bush administration's demands and scare tactics by passing the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA), giving the NSA even more power to spy on Americans without warrants than it exercised under its illegal surveillance program. In response, the NYCLU and ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging FAA on behalf of a broad coalition of attorneys and human rights, labor, legal and media organizations whose work – which relies on confidential communications – will be greatly compromised by new law. Aside from this ongoing lawsuit, the NYCLU continues challenging warrantless surveillance through legislative lobbying and grassroots advocacy. Click here to learn about the ACLU’s efforts to stop illegal government surveillance.
2019 Annual Report