PRESS RELEASE: Committee of 100 Comments on the FISA Amendments Act: Reauthorizing America’s Vital National Security Authority and Protecting Privacy and Civil Liberties

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(中文版见下)

Contact: Frank H. Wu, Chairman
media@committee100.org or 212-371-6565

 

 

Committee of 100 Comments on the FISA Amendments Act: Reauthorizing America’s Vital National Security Authority and Protecting Privacy and Civil Liberties

(New York, NY, November 11, 2017) — On October 11, 2017, the Committee of 100 (C100), sent the following letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees:

The Committee of 100, an American non-profit organization of leading Chinese Americans, respectfully submits the following letter regarding the reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act that the Senate Judiciary Committee is presently considering and that the House Judiciary Committee will consider. We understand that the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on this earlier this summer. Based on our experiences throughout American history, Asian Americans are able to offer a unique perspective on this legislation.

The Committee of 100 urges you and the Senate and House Judiciary Committees to reauthorize Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 only with a new sunset date, so that the Act can be subjected to scheduled review in the future. We also urge you to protect privacy and civil liberty by including reforms to improve the terms, transparency, oversight, and accountability of the Act. We sincerely believe that these reforms can be accomplished without compromising the basic needs for national security. The following pages (Appendix A) elucidate our position in greater detail.

As a membership organization of illustrious Americans including the late John Fugh, the first Chinese American to serve as a United States Army General, and Admiral Ming Chang, the first Asian American to have achieved flag rank in the services, C100 recognizes that it is important to ensure our nation is able to counteract perils from terrorism and espionage. The threat to our American ideals is real.

Asian Americans have historically contributed to the safety and security of our nation through both military service and intelligence operations. Yet Asian Americans have also encountered express racial prejudice and discrimination, whether through the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 or the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Despite assimilation and loyalty, Asian Americans have consistently been portrayed as “perpetual foreigners.” The cases of Wen Ho Lee, Sherry Chen, and Xiaoxing Xi, all accused of the worst crimes against our country, but who all turned out to be innocent of wrongdoing, though not before suffering serious personal and professional harm, are just some recent examples of Asian Americans being potentially subject to greater suspicion based on race, ethnicity and ancestry.

As an organization committed to the full inclusion of Chinese Americans in the United States, C100 has been active for over 25 years in promoting due process and equal protection for Chinese Americans and Asian Americans. In 1999 and 2000, C100 led a coalition to raise national awareness about the denial of due process for Dr. Lee. More recently in the cases of Ms. Chen and Professor Xi, C100 has been collaborating with Congressional leaders, other Asian Pacific American organizations, and the U.S. government to address irresponsible prosecutions and practices inconsistent with the Justice Department’s policies.

Earlier this year, C100 released a white paper (attached) summarizing a statistical study conducted independently by legal scholar Andrew Kim, showing that Asian Americans face a much higher risk of prosecution under the Economic Espionage Act, compared to defendants with “Western names.” Asian Americans are, however, twice as likely of not being found guilty of espionage or similarly serious charges. To bring attention to these troubling issues, C100 has also been conducting a series of educational seminars for Asian American scientists and government employees to alert them to the risks and sensitivities involved in their fields.

The Committee of 100 is uniquely positioned to leverage its distinguished membership as well as its standing as a highly-reputable institution in both the Asian American community and the U.S. legal and policy fields to work with the U.S. government to ensure that it can defend national security interests while upholding civil liberties and equal protection for all Americans. We urge you and the Senate and House Judiciary Committees to consider our recommendations. 


Please click here for the full text of the letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee and here for the full text of the letter to the House Judiciary Committee.

The Committee of 100 is a non-partisan leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, and the arts. For over 25 years, the Committee has been committed to a dual mission of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all fields of American life, and encouraging constructive relations between the peoples of the United States and Greater China. www.committee100.org.

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Contact:百人会会长吳華揚
media@committee100.org or 212-371-6565

 

 

百人会评《外国情报监听法(FISA)修正案》:重新授予国家安全机构权限并保护隐私和公民自由

(美国纽约州纽约市,2017年11月11日) — 2017年10月11日,百人会将以下信函送至参众两院司法委员会主席和首席成员:

[百人会] 是由华裔美国人领袖组成的美国非营利机构,就参议院司法委员会和众议院司法委员会考虑重新授权《FISA修正案》一事诚挚致信。我们知道今年夏天时候参议院司法委员会就此事召开了听证会。作为亚裔美国公民,并基于对美国历史的理解, 我们希望能给这次立法带来一个独特的视角。

[百人会] 呼吁您、参议院司法委员会和众议院司法委员会,为重新授权《1978外国情报监听法案第七章》设置一个新的终止期限,以确保此法案今后受到复审。我们也呼吁改进法案条款、透明度、监管和问责制来保护公民隐私和公民自由。我们坚信这些改进可以在美国国家基本安全利益不受影响的情况下完成。下述附件A中我们就此观点做出详细阐述。

作为一家由杰出华裔美国人组成的会员机构, [百人会] 会员包括首位华裔美国陆军将军傅履仁, 以及首位华裔特级军衔获得者美国海军上将钱勇杰。[百人会] 坚决支持确保美国国土安全, 打击恐怖主义的重要性,因为这些威胁美国的力量真实存在。纵观历史, 亚裔美国公民也曾服役于我国军队和情报部门, 为美国的国家安全保障做出了举足轻重的贡献。如果没有他们在第二次世界大战中的贡献, 欧洲和太平洋战场都会更加艰难, 战时也会更加漫长。

但是, 亚裔群体却也明显地遭受了种族偏见和歧视,无论是1882年的《排华法案》, 还是二战期间对日裔美国人的拘留都证明了这一点。尽管亚裔群体在美已经表现同化和忠诚, 但仍持续被贴上“永久外国人”的标签。华裔美国人李文和, 陈霞芬和郗小星都被指控对美国犯下最严重的罪行, 在承受了重大的个人和职业损害之后, 他们最后都被证明无罪。这些案例仅是在美亚裔群体近期因种族, 血统和家庭来源而遭受多重怀疑和排斥的部分证明。

[百人会] 致力于华裔美国人全面融入美国社会, 25年多来一直积极推动华裔美国人和其他亚裔群体享有美国宪法保障的“正当程序”和“平等保护”。1999年和2000年, [百人会] 领导全美联盟, 帮助人们提高对李文和博士被剥夺正当程序的认知。在近期关于陈霞芬女士和郗小星教授的案例中, [百人会] 更是与国会领导人, 亚太美国组织和美国政府合作, 指出了不负责任的指控和司法部政策的前后矛盾。

今年早些时候, [百人会] 发布了一本白皮书 (详见附件), 总结了法律学者安德鲁·金的一项独立的统计研究。该研究显示, 亚裔美国人相较于带有“西方名字”的被告人, 面临更高的被《经济间谍法》起诉的几率;但是, 亚裔美国人在这些间谍案以及类似案件中被证明是无罪的几率是其他洋名嫌犯的两倍。为了引起大家对这些棘手问题的关注, [百人会] 为亚裔科学家和政府雇员举办了系列研讨会, 帮助他们警惕在各自领域所面临的风险和敏感问题。

[百人会] 拥有杰出的会员, 在亚裔社区和美国立法政策领域都享有极高的声誉。我们可以充分利用这些宝贵资源, 帮助美国政府在保障国家安全利益的同时, 保护全体公民的权利和平等。我们敦促您和参议院司法委员会考虑我们的建议。


致参议院司法委员会信件全文 [点击链接], 致众议院司法委员会信件全文 [点击链接]。

百人会是一个由杰出美国华人组成的非党派团体,成员来自商界、政界、学术、和文艺界。成立二十五年来,百人会一直致力于其两大使命,推动美国华人在美国社会各领域的全面参与,促进美国与大中华地区人民之间的建设性关系。更多信息: www.committee100.org.

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