Last night, news broke that the NSA had requested and gained access to the phone records of millions of Verizon customers. Today, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) put out a statement condemning this massive surveillance program:
“This type of secret bulk data collection is an outrageous breach of Americans’ privacy. I have had significant concerns about the intelligence community over-collecting information about Americansa�� telephone calls, emails, and other records and that is whyA�I voted against the reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act provisions in 2011 and the reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act just six months ago.a�?
a�?This bulk data collection is being done under interpretations of the law that have been kept secret from the public. A�Significant FISA court opinions that determine the scope of our laws should be declassified. Can the FBI or the NSA really claim that they need data scooped up on tens of millions of Americans?a�?