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DelBene votes to protect privacy and rein in broad NSA surveillance programs
Congresswoman Suzan DelBene issued the following statement today following her vote on a bipartisan amendment to the Department of Defense appropriations bill that would rein in NSA domestic surveillance programs that secretly collect the phone records of millions of Americans:
“The revelations of secret government surveillance programs earlier this summer were deeply troubling. Specifically, the bulk collection of the personal phone records of millions of individuals, whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing or not, raises serious constitutional and privacy concerns.
“The bipartisan Amash/Conyers amendment I supported today would strengthen privacy protections and ensure that the NSA ends this blanket surveillance. The amendment would prohibit the NSA from collecting information under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act unless the data is related to an individual who is the subject of a national security investigation. This amendment prevents the bulk collection of sensitive information on innocent Americans, while ensuring that law enforcement and our national security agencies still have the tools they need to conduct targeted investigations against terrorists.
“As technology continues to evolve, we must regularly review, debate and update our laws to ensure we strike the right balance between national security and our civil liberties. Today’s amendment would have been an important step in that direction. As a member of the Judiciary Committee, I urge further hearings on these programs and on legislation such as the LIBERT-E Act, which I am cosponsoring, to ensure that our intelligence programs have meaningful oversight, accountability and transparency.”