Powerful messaging for Patriot Act reform

In spring 2015, several key provisions of the U.S. Patriot Act were set to expire. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – at the vanguard of defending civil liberties in the U.S. for nearly a century and a tireless advocate for reining in government surveillance programs – saw an opportunity to fundamentally reform and limit government surveillance and establish the issue in the 2016 election cycle.

GSG’s research helped the ACLU demonstrate that Americans, by nearly a 2:1 margin and across both parties, did not want to see the Patriot Act simply reauthorized. The ACLU used our national survey to secure media coverage in major outlets such as Newsweek, The Guardian, TechCrunch, and the Hill. Meanwhile, our surveys in eight key battleground states helped inform powerful ad campaigns, which included the ACLU teaming up with the Tea Party Patriots to demonstrate the breadth of support for reining in the government’s surveillance activities.

All of this public pressure led to a vote in Congress to limit the government’s authority to collect bulk data on Americans – the most important surveillance reform in decades. Although reform remains in limbo to a degree, the ACLU will continue its fight for a permanent halt to these intrusive surveillance programs.