Merkley: NSA Spying Outrageous Breach of Americans’ Privacy

Washington, DC- Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement after press reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) is engaging in massive, secret bulk data collection of Americans’ phone records.

“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 Americans’ telephone calls, emails, and other records and that is why I voted against the reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act provisions in 2011 and the reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act just six months ago.”

“This bulk data collection is being done under interpretations of the law that have been kept secret from the public.  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?”

In December, Senator Merkley led an effort to declassify FISA court opinions and put an end to ‘secret law’ during the debate over the extension of the FISA Amendments Act.