I don't put a lot of stock in political polls. But I'd bet any poll will tell you that a vast majority of law-abiding Americans have a problem with federal agents secretly going through your household trash, or gathering personal information about you -- without reasonable cause or proper recordkeeping.
We can all agree on the need to keep America safe, but Montanans and many other Americans understand that federal investigators and law enforcement agents shouldn't have the power to run roughshod over our constitutional rights, invading our privacy and undoing what countless American heroes have fought and died for since the birth of this country.
It's up to members of Congress to hold federal agencies accountable -- to make sure that the people charged with keeping our citizens safe honor the rights guaranteed by our Constitution.
That's why I'm calling on the FBI to abandon its plans to give some 14,000 agents significant new powers to investigate the private lives of law-abiding Americans -- click here and add your voice to mine today.
Recent reports say the FBI is drafting new rules giving its agents the authority to search databases for personal information, use surveillance teams to monitor law-abiding citizens, and even to sift through their trash.
Under the new rules, agents wouldn't have to show any "factual basis" of evidence to undertake that surveillance, and they wouldn't be required to keep records of their searches.
That's not how we do things in Montana or anywhere else in America. And that's why the FBI should abandon those plans.
We've seen what happens when the government oversteps its bounds. We get laws like the Patriot Act, which threatens our constitutional freedoms under the guise of security.
I've always opposed the Patriot Act, and voted proudly last month against an extension of the controversial law.
And I'll keep fighting to make sure the federal government doesn't give away our freedoms in the name of security. Because when that happens, the terrorists get exactly what they want.
Whether it's rejecting the Patriot Act, or a national ID card, or encroachments on our civil liberties, I'll always fight to defend the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans. I hope you'll join me in fighting for our freedom, and our privacy.
Follow Sen. Jon Tester on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jontester