Senator Udall Takes to the Internet for Help Reforming Patriot Act

Mark Udall is sponsoring an online petition to ask for help revising the Patriot Act.

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Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is petitioning the Internet for help revising the Patriot Act.

Less than a week after Americans learned the National Security Agency was monitoring the phone calls, emails and social networks of its citizens, Sen. Mark Udall, D-Col., is calling on his fellow lawmakers to do a better job protecting personal privacy – and he wants the Internet's help to do it. 

[READ: Congress Enacted the NSA Laws, But Will They Change Them Now?]

Udall, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is sponsoring a petition on Causes.com, a grass roots campaign website, to ask for support in calling on Congress to revise the Patriot Act.

The Patriot Act, which was signed into law in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was intended to strengthen homeland security and thwart future terrorist attacks. But it also weakened restrictions on law enforcement agencies that gather intelligence domestically, making online monitoring of American citizens overseas fair game.

"I know how damaging leaks of classified information can be to our national security," Udall wrote. "I wish the information about our government's telephone records surveillance program had come directly from the administration itself. But now the American people are more empowered to judge the secret interpretations of the Patriot Act — and to see how those interpretations have been used to expand collection of Americans' telephone records."

[BROWSE: Editorial Cartoons on the NSA]

Other petitions have surfaced on Causes.com in reaction to NSA surveillance, including "Tell President Obama: Justify your indiscriminate spying on Americans," "We Demand The Government STOP Mining Personal Data On Private Citizens" and "Don't Spy on Me, Bro!"

Udall's petition was posted on June 10, and more than 1,100 people have since signed it. The senator's office could not be reached for comment.

More News:

  • Patriot Act Author: Too Much Surveillance Leads to Missed Signals
  • Is Congress Responsible for NSA Phone Data Mining?
  • Government Civil Liberties Watchdog Relaunches in Wake of NSA Revelations