The United States and Europe should work together to develop policies ensuring both security and protection of civil liberties, says Rep. James Sensenbrenner.
Any agreement should include tighter limits on the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, the Wisconsin Republican said Monday, according to The Hill
NSA surveillance programs have drawn heated opposition in Europe because they reportedly have targeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel
and other European leaders.
"I ask my friends here in the European Parliament to work pragmatically with the United States to continue balanced efforts to protect our nations," Sensenbrenner said in a speech prepared for delivery
to the Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee.
"Together," he said, "we can rebuild trust while defending civil liberties and national security on both sides of the Atlantic."
Speaking directly about the NSA's recently revealed data-collection and surveillance programs, Sensenbrenner said Congress "never intended to allow the National Security Agency to peer indiscriminately into the lives of innocent people all over the world."
Sensenbrenner was chairman of the House Judiciary Committee when the Patriot Act was passed after 9/11, expanding the intelligence-gathering activities of the NSA and other U.S. agencies.
But in the wake of revelations about the scope of the NSA's data-collection programs, he has authored a bill to expand congressional oversight of intelligence gathering and impose limits on the agencies' bulk data-collection activities.
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