Groups Ask for Transparency Around Possible Trade Policy Surveillance
November 12, 2013
General Keith Alexander
National Security Agency
9800 Savage Rd.
Fort Meade, MD 20755
The Honorable Michael Froman
United States Trade Representative
600 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20508
Dear General Alexander and Ambassador Froman,
The New York Times reports on November 3 that wide-reaching efforts by the National Security Agency to collect data are driven in part by the agency's "customers" -- a range of other government agencies that includes the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
In light of this and other disclosures, we are writing to ask if the NSA, or other national security agencies, have surveilled any U.S. organizations or individuals advocating on U.S. trade policy. We ask you to disclose any such surveillance, whether or not it occurred at the request of USTR; whether or not it involved communications with foreign nationals; and whether or not it occurred within U.S. borders.
Core American principles ranging from the right to privacy to the right to petition our government are at stake. Simply put, we believe that our organizations -- as well as all others advocating on trade policy matters -- have right to an assurance that their operations are not under surveillance by U.S. government agencies. We trust you agree.
We look forward to your reply.
American Medical Student Association
Center for Digital Democracy
Center for Effective Government
Center for Financial Privacy and Human Rights
Center for Food Safety
Center for International and Environmental Law
Center for Media and Democracy
Center for Rights
Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in
Citizens Trade Campaign
Coalition for Sensible Safeguards
Communication Workers of America
Consumer Federation of America
Defending Dissent Foundation
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Fight for the Future
Food & Water Watch
Friends of the Earth, U.S.
Friends of Privacy USA
Government Accountability Project
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Just Foreign Policy
Knowledge Ecology International
National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices
Organic Consumers Association
Project On Government Oversight (POGO)
World Privacy Forum