1976 February 21

ACLU Launches Anti-Government Spying Campaign

 

The ACLU Board of Directors voted on this day to embark on a nationwide campaign to build support for legislation to curb spying by the intelligence agencies. Specific proposals included “whistle-blower” protection for federal employers who expose corruption or illegal activity, a law making it a crime to knowingly deceive Congress or the public, and a law making it a crime for federal employees below the Cabinet level to fail to report criminal conduct by government officials to a special prosecutor.

The ACLU campaign was in response to revelations by the Senate Church Committee (created on January 27, 1975) and the House Pike Committee (created on February 19, 1975) about violations of the rights of American citizens by the intelligence agencies.

Spying on Americans only worsened over the years. See the revelations of the NSA files released to the media that began on June 5, 2013.

For the ACLU’s fight against government spying today, go to: https://www.aclu.org/time-rein-surveillance-state-0

Learn more about the history of government spying in America: Athan Theoharis, Spying on Americans: Political Surveillance From Hoover to the Huston Plan (1978)

Read the reports of the Church Committee (1976): http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/contents/church/contents_church_reports.htm

Read: Samuel Walker, In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU (1990)

Read the ACLU FBI File (not the complete file): http://vault.fbi.gov/ACLU

Learn about the ACLU today: www.aclu.org

Find a Day

Go
Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps

Topics

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!