Last month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) joined twelve of her colleagues “in sending a letter to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. The letter calls for an investigation into recently disclosed NSA programs to determine whether they are conducted within the statutory authority granted by Congress and to ensure that American citizens’ civil liberties and privacy are protected.”
Now, she has upped the ante, joining a new letter of 26 Senators — 21 Democrats and 4 Republicans — in writing directly to the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in demanding answers about the NSA’s spy programs. Here are a few of the questions that the letter is asking:
- How long has the NSA used PATRIOT Act authorities to engage in bulk collection of Americans’ records? Was this collection underway when the law was reauthorized in 2006?
- Has the NSA used USA PATRIOT Act authorities to conduct bulk collection of any other types of records pertaining to Americans, beyond phone records?
- Please provide specific examples of instances in which useful intelligence was gained by reviewing phone records that could not have been obtained without the bulk collection authority, if such examples exist.
The letter also calls out Clapper for “misleading the public” with statements saying that the NSA doesn’t hold data on US citizens.
We wouldn’t even know about the NSA’s spying without Edward Snowden’s heroism. That’s why thousands of people are fighting back at SnowdenLegalFund.com. Click here to chip in a few dollars to defend Snowden.