News Release

“Terrifying” “Make Everyone A Spy” Amendment Provokes Outrage


SEAN VITKA, via Maria Langholz,, @demandprogress
Vitka is policy director at Demand Progress. The New York Times reports today: “Privacy advocates are raising alarms about a mysterious provision the House added to a surveillance bill last week. The Senate is likely to vote on the bill later this week.”

Demand Progress charges that the “controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reauthorization that includes the ‘Make Everyone A Spy’ amendment. In the [Times] article, the Department of Justice suggests that the provision is narrow in scope and is intended to address data centers. This echoes House Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner and Ranking Member Jim Himes, who represented it as a ‘narrow‘ fix, when it in fact has no guardrails, no independent oversight, and nearly endless reach. A fact sheet on the amendment is available here.”

The Brennan Center for Justice is promoting Demand Progress’ resources and Sen. Ron Wyden has called the bill “terrifying.” Rep. Thomas Massie objected to the “expansion of the domestic warrantless surveillance program” just before he demanded Mike Johnson vacate the House Speakership today.

Vitka said today: “As we have said for months, the Make Everyone A Spy provision is recklessly broad and a threat to democracy itself. It is simply stunning that the administration and House Intelligence Committee do not have a single answer for how frighteningly broad this provision is. While the Department of Justice wants us to believe that this is simply about addressing data centers, that is no justification for exposing cleaning crews, security guards, and untold scores of other Americans to secret Section 702 directives, which are issued without any court review. Receiving one can be a life-changing event, and Jim Himes appears not to have any sense of that.”