"the right of the people . . . to petition the Government
for a redress of grievances."
- First Amendment, United States Constitution
EPIC's campaign to promote a public rulemaking on the NSA domestic
surveillance program is underway. EPIC will be posting updates and new
Below is the text of EPIC's petition to the NSA. Please sign at
or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the subject header:
"I support EPIC's Petition to the NSA".
"Dear General Alexander and Secretary Hagel:
The undersigned individuals and organizations, concerned about the rule
of law and the protection of Constitutional freedoms, hereby petition
the National Security Agency to conduct a public rulemaking on the
agency's monitoring and collection of communications traffic within
the United States. 5 U.S.C. § 553(e).
We believe that the NSA's collection of domestic communications
contravenes the First and Fourth Amendments to the United States
Constitution, and violates several federal privacy laws, including the
Privacy Act of 1974, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of
1978 as amended.
The NSA's collection of solely domestic communications, which has been
acknowledged by the President, the Director of National Intelligence,
and the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence, also constitutes a legislative rule that "substantively
affects the public to a degree sufficient to implicate the policy
interests animating notice-and-comment rulemaking" under the
Administrative Procedure Act. EPIC v. DHS, 653 F.3d 1, 6 (D.C. Cir.
2011). Accordingly, the NSA's collection of domestic communications,
absent the opportunity for public comment, is unlawful.
We hereby petition the National Security Agency, a component of the
Department of Defense, for relief. We ask the NSA to immediately
suspend collection of solely domestic communications pending the
completion of a public rulemaking as required by law.
We intend to renew our request each week until we receive your response.
Dr. Alessandro Acquisti
Professor Ann Bartow
Professor Colin Bennett
Professor Christine Borgman
Professor Julie E. Cohen
Dr. Danah Boyd
Dr. Whitfield Diffie
Dr. Cynthia Dwork
Professor David Farber
Professor David Flaherty
Professor Michael Froomkin
Professor Urs Gasser
Professor Jerry Kang
Professor Ian Kerr
Dr. Pablo Molina
Dr. Peter G. Neumann
Professor Helen Nissenbaum
Deborah C. Peel, MD
Professor Anita Ramasastry
Professor Ronald Rivest
Professor Pam Samuelson
Dr. Barbara Simons
Edward G. Viltz