Tags: Edward Snowden | Newsmax Prime | NSA/Surveillance | steve king | NSA | data | court

Steve King to Newsmax: House GOP Bill Would Ban NSA Programs

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 09:23 PM

Now that a federal appeals court has ruled that the National Security Agency's massive data-collections program is illegal, House Republicans are writing laws that would ban the activity outright, Iowa Rep. Steve King told Newsmax TV on Thursday.

"We have been writing a USA Freedom Act, which is a renewal of the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, it just flat-out bans the metadata collection by the federal government," King, a seven-term congressman, told J.D. Hayworth on "Newsmax Prime."

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The legislation, however, would still allow federal access to the data collected by telecommunications companies, King said.

"These are not recordings of conversations; it's just the billing information. They retain them for their records," he added. "If we're investigating — say — a terrorist, then there'd have to be a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court before the federal government could access those records."

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled Thursday that the NSA's program was illegal because it was not authorized by Congress.

The court ruled that the program could temporarily continue in its current form, but asked legislators to better define where boundaries exist or risk "invasions of privacy unimaginable in the past."

If the government is correct in its legal arguments, the judges determined that it could also justify storing in bulk the metadata associated with Americans' financial records, medical records and electronic communications, including email and social media information.

The case, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, was appealed after a lower court judge in December threw it out. The judge said that the program was a necessary extension to security measures taken after the 9/11 attacks. The appeals court said the lower court had erred.

The NSA programs, which involved the widespread collection of Americans' telephone and Internet records, were exposed through leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who continues to live under political asylum in Russia.

King told Hayworth that the data should remain with the telecommunications companies.

"I don't want to let somebody fly planes into our buildings again because we overdo this," he said, referencing 9/11, "but the public has more confidence in the private sector retaining those records than they do in the federal government.

"That's the best place for the records to be," King added. "We need to be examining the decisions of the FISA court so we know that they're not just giving a blank check any time."

He also slammed moves by Democrats to add provisions to the $612 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) being debated by the House to allow illegal immigrants to serve in the U.S. armed forces.

The proposal, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona, was part of a Pentagon spending bill that was passed last month by the House Armed Services Committee.

"I'll vote 'no' on that bill if that provision is in it," said King, a member of the House Judiciary Committee. "We're just going to sign people up to the military who are unlawfully present in the United States that the president has decided by his executive edict are lawfully here.

"They have to take an oath to support and defend the Constitution," he continued. "They have to lie to get into the military — and … so I would ask which time did they lie, or did they lie both times?

"Why would you trust their oath to the Constitution if you can't trust them to tell the truth when they signed up for the military?" King asked Hayworth. "This is a robust effort on the part of the open-borders people to try to find another sympathetic group of people.

"For the president to support anything like that, it's outrageous — and I will fight it," he added, referring to President Barack Obama. "Immigration should not be in the NDAA."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Now that a federal appeals court has ruled that the National Security Agency's massive data-collections program is illegal, House Republicans are writing laws that would ban the activity outright, Iowa Rep. Steve King told Newsmax TV on Thursday.
steve king, NSA, data, court, edward snowden
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2015-23-07
Thursday, 07 May 2015 09:23 PM
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