The introduction of a new and controversial surveillance program has brought divided political ideologies together in the US Congress. Representatives from both progressive and conservative parties have come together to oppose the massive data collection program, highlighting the need for reevaluating due process and data protection.
The proposed law, called the Reform Government Surveillance Act of 2021, would grant the government increased access to personal data collected by leading tech and telecommunications companies. Backers of the bill claim it would help the government combat terrorism, although the language of the proposal would allow them to use the data for a much wider range of activities.
Critics of the bill argue that it is an unnecessary and dangerous intrusion into the private lives of citizens. This line of opposition crosses all party lines, uniting progressive and conservative lawmakers in opposition to the proposed bill.
In addition to the privacy concerns raised by civil liberties groups, some conservatives have voiced their worries that the government could use the data to stifle opposition. Senator Rand Paul has argued that the bill would allow the government to target political rivals, saying “it’s potential the government could use it to spy on people they deem to be political dissenters or opposition to their point of view”.
The Reform Government Surveillance Act of 2021 has been met with an almost universal chorus of opposition from both sides of the political spectrum. With technology companies, civil liberties activists and conservative lawmakers united against the proposal, it is clear that this powerful new program will not be given the green light without a thorough examination of its implications and administrative procedures.
The political divide growing in the US Congress has been bridged with the introduction of the Reform Government Surveillance Act of 2021. Opposition to the bill has united a diverse range of political ideologies in a way that is rare in American politics. Hopefully this newfound solidarity will be translated into a stronger and more equal society.