Corvallis, OR – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement after the President released a new policy directive on U.S. surveillance.
“It is unacceptable that our government has indiscriminately swept up millions of cell phone records of law-abiding citizens. This is an outrageous abuse of Americans’ privacy. I’m glad the President has acknowledged the concerns with bulk collection and will explore options to remedy those concerns. It remains to be seen whether significant changes will be made, and I vow to continue to advocate for substantive reforms to protect Americans’ privacy.
“The FISA court also needs dramatic reforms. I support the President’s proposal of a public advocate in those court proceedings for the constitutional privacy rights of American citizens. I also appreciate the President’s commitment to declassify FISA court opinions, which is the principle embedded in my 2012 amendment to the FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization. Secret law cannot be tolerated in a democracy.
“Our nation is stronger when our civil rights as Americans are respected. I will continue to work with the Administration, Senator Wyden, and other colleagues to ensure our constitutional rights are honored in our laws and by our government.”