Reform Jewish Leader Raises Concern over Reauthorization of Warrantless Wiretapping
Saperstein:“I urge congressional leadership to prevent the wiretapping provisions of the Protect America Act from becoming permanent and to continue to provide for the individual adjudication of what information can and cannot be obtained by federal law enforcement agencies”
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WashingtonD.C.October 9, 2007 - In response to recent reports that Congressional leaders plan to vote to continue the use of warrantless wiretaps by the National Security Agency (NSA), David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism issued the following statement:
In August, with the passage of the six-month extension of the Protect America Act of 2007, Congress took a major step in the wrong direction on the protection of civil liberties. Then, it providing almost unfettered access to the private communications of U.S. citizens. Now, despite previous assurances, congressional leaders are moving to make permanent some of the most costly provisions of that Act.
While as American and as Jews, s we have come to accept the realities of living in a post- September 11th world, we remain committed to the protection of the freedoms and values that have allowed liberty to thrive in America.
For this reason, I urge congressional leadership to prevent the wiretapping provisions of the Protect America Act from becoming permanent and to continue to provide for the individual adjudication of what information can and cannot be obtained by federal law enforcement agencies.
Jewish communities have long known the consequences of unchecked government power. Therefore, while we remain committed to providing law enforcement officials with the tools necessary to combat terrorism we remain equally committed to providing protection against laws which allow such tools to be applied too broadly.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more
than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis