Tags: nsa | phone | sweeping | records

Senators: NSA Phone Sweeping Started in 2007

Image: Senators: NSA Phone Sweeping Started in 2007
A woman talks on the phone on June 6 in front of the U.S. Courthouse in Washington, where the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court resides.

By    |   Thursday, 06 Jun 2013 06:04 PM

The public and some members of Congress may be outraged at news that the government is looking at virtually everyone's cell phone records, but senators say the practice began in 2007 and every U.S. Senator should already have known about it.

"Everyone’s been aware of it for years, every member of the Senate," said Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Chambliss and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who chairs the committee, defended the program that began under the administration of President George W. Bush, The Hill reported.

"There have been approximately 100 plots and also arrests made since 2009 by the FBI," Feinstein said. "I do not know to what extent metadata was used or if it was used, but I do know this, gentlemen, that terrorists will come after us if they can, and the only thing we have to deter this is good intelligence."

The action is allowed under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which was reauthorized for five years in December. Some lawmakers who voted to extend FISA said they were not aware the act allowed snooping on everyone's phone records.

"I never voted intentionally for any bill that would grant blanket (authority) to just monitor every phone call," Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., told The Hill.

House Speaker John Boehner demanded the administration explain the how the act works. "I trust the president will explain to the American people why the administration considers this a critical tool in protecting our nation from the threats of a terrorist attack."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the White House "is obeying the law," but she'd like to see more Congressional oversight.


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The public and some members of Congress may be outraged at news that the government is looking at virtually everyone's cell phone records, but senators say the practice began in 2007 and every U.S. Senator should already have known about it.
nsa,phone,sweeping,records
281
2013-04-06
Thursday, 06 Jun 2013 06:04 PM
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