EEUU: Carta en rechazo a una disposición de la Ley de Autorización de Inteligencia

Desde la Asociación por los Derechos Civiles adherimos a la carta impulsada por el Center for Democracy & Technology en oposición a una disposición de la Ley de Autorización de Inteligencia en Estados Unidos para el año fiscal 2017 que prohibiría a la Junta Supervisora de la Privacidad y las Libertades Civiles (U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board – PCLOB) considerar sobre los intereses en privacidad y libertades civiles de cualquier persona salvo de los ciudadanos y residentes legales permanentes de Estados Unidos

El PCLOB juega un papel importante en la protección de la privacidad y las libertades civiles en el contexto de la lucha contra el terrorismo. El Congreso de Estados Unidos creó el PCLOB en respuesta a una recomendación de la Comisión del 9/11, reforzó su independencia en 2008, y ha considerado cuidadosamente las recomendaciones de reforma que este órgano de expertos ha hecho. En su informe sobre la Sección 702 de la Ley de Vigilancia de Inteligencia Extranjera (FISA), el PCLOB indicó que tenía previsto abordar el impacto de la vigilancia en personas fuera de los Estados Unidos en su próximo informe. Dicho informe se está elaborando y se centrará en la vigilancia electrónica llevada a cabo bajo la Orden Ejecutiva 12333 dirigida en gran medida hacia fuera de Estados Unidos. La Sección 603 prohibiría al PCLOB considerar en este reporte los derechos de personas fuera de Estados Unidos, a pesar de que la vigilancia que ese reporte considera tiene un enorme impacto en personas fuera de dicho país, así como también en ciudadanos estadounidenses.

La carta completa en inglés a continuación:

Dear Senator:

The undersigned civil society organizations, companies, trade associations and academics strongly oppose a provision of the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2017 (Act, S. 3017) that would bar the U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) from considering the privacy and civil liberties interests of anyone but citizens and lawful permanent residents of the U.S. (U.S. persons).  We urge you to oppose any version of this legislation that includes this provision.

PCLOB plays an important role in protecting privacy and civil liberties in the counter-terrorism context.  Congress created PCLOB in response to a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, reinforced its independence in 2008, and has considered carefully the reform recommendations this expert body has made.  In its report on Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), PCLOB indicated that it planned to address the impact of surveillance on non-U.S. persons in its next report.  That report is being prepared and will focus on electronic surveillance conducted under Executive Order 12333 directed largely outside the U.S.  Section 603 would bar PCLOB from addressing the rights of non-U.S. persons in that report, even though the surveillance the report will consider has an enormous impact on non-U.S persons, as well as on U.S. persons.

The President recognized the important role that the PCLOB can and should play to protect the rights of people outside the United States in the surveillance context.  Presidential Policy Directive 28 (PPD-28)[1] states:

All persons should be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their nationality or wherever they might reside, and all persons have legitimate privacy interests in the handling of their personal information.

It encouraged PCLOB to provide a report that assesses the implementation of PPD-28 that fall within PCLOB’s mandate.  Section 603 of the Act would limit PCLOB’s mandate to protecting only the rights of U.S. persons, thus barring PCLOB from doing much of the review for which the President called.

Limiting PCLOB’s authority in this way would also undermine the nascent Privacy Shield agreement, putting trans-Atlantic trade that is critical to the economy of the U.S. and Europe at greater risk.  Privacy Shield – the proposed successor to the EU-US Safe Harbor Agreement – is designed to set privacy rules for data of EU residents transferred to and processed in the U.S.  Regardless of one’s view on the sufficiency of the Privacy Shield, the agreement was the product of extensive, delicate negotiations.  It relies, in part, on assurances the U.S. made about PCLOB’s role in overseeing the use of surveillance authorities that apply to non-U.S. persons, such as Section 702 of FISA.[2] EU regulators have specifically taken note of the report in progress on E.O. 12333.  Section 603 would damage the ongoing diplomatic discussions with the EU by barring PCLOB from exercising oversight of the data of Europeans and other non-U.S. persons.

Section 603 would also bar PCLOB from considering the rights of non-U.S. persons even when they are inside the U.S.  Both the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act protect everyone in the U.S. regardless of their citizenship:  a court order, based on a showing that a person in the U.S. is an agent of a foreign power, is generally required to collect the contents of a person’s communications in an intelligence investigation.  But, for example, if a newspaper reported that the NSA was collecting the communications content of lawfully present foreign students, businesspersons, or other visitors to the U.S. without the required court order, Section 603 would bar PCLOB from investigating such a potential violation of the law, and the U.S. Constitution.  Moreover, in cases where the impact of a program on U.S. persons is not immediately apparent, this limitation could complicate PCLOB’s efforts to protect the rights of U.S. persons as well.

This provision is detrimental to human rights and to trans-Atlantic trade.  A number of companies and civil society groups previously urged you to reject Section 803 of the Act, which would empower the FBI to issue National Security Letters that demand, without court authorization, disclosure of electronic communication transactional records held by communications service providers.[3] Signatories to this letter urge you to oppose any version of the Intelligence Authorization Act of FY 2017 that bars PCLOB from considering the rights of non-U.S. persons.


Companies, trade associations, and civil society groups:

  • Access Now
  • Advocacy for Principled Action in Government
  • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Apple
  • Arab American Institute
  • Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC), Argentina
  • Brennan Center for Justice
  • Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Church World Service
  • Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
  • Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA)
  • Constitution Project
  • Council on American-Islamic Relations
  • Fight for the Future
  • Global Network Initiative
  • Google
  • Government Accountability Project
  • Human Rights Watch
  • Immigrant Legal Resource Center
  • Intel
  • International Modern Media Institute, Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Internet Infrastructure Coalition / I2Coalition
  • Just Foreign Policy
  • Microsoft
  • National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
  • New America’s Open Technology Institute
  • OpenMedia
  • Open Net Korea
  • PEN America
  • Reform Government Surveillance
  • Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), Canada
  • Symantec
  • U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
  • United We Dream
  • Win Without War

Imagen de portada: EFF

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