Bellows Responds To Obama's NSA Speech

Friday, January 17, 2014Press Release

In a speech addressing revelations of the NSA secretly spying on its own citizens, President Obama announced today that he will not dismantle the domestic surveillance program. Instead, he will hand off the storage of surveillance data to a private entity. However, the surveillance data will still be accessible by the NSA.

Responding to President Obama’s speech, Democratic US Senate candidate Shenna Bellows rejected the proposed reform as lacking the necessary changes to adequately protect our civil liberties.  Bellows is making constitutional freedoms a cornerstone of her campaign.  

“Whether it’s in the hands of the NSA or a third-party group, the mass surveillance of American citizens undermines our democratic freedoms,” said Bellows. “The President's speech falls short of real reform.  The minor adjustments to the program will not go far enough to restore our checks and balances.”

As the former executive director of the ACLU of Maine, Bellows has a history of building coalitions of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to fight the growing surveillance-industrial complex. Last year, Bellows organized a bipartisan coalition to pass two groundbreaking privacy laws that require law enforcement to get a warrant before accessing cellphone communications including location data, text messages and voicemails.[1] Maine was one of only two states in the country to protect against cell phone tracking. 

“I'm running for United States Senate to stand up against the Washington pattern of sacrificing our liberties for a false sense of security,” said Bellows.  "We need to stop dragnet surveillance and restore our constitutional freedoms to protect individual liberties and restore trust in our government again."