(Hartford, CT) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following statement after new reports revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) has abused its legal authority several times each year since Congress expanded the agency’s power in 2008. Last month, Blumenthal introduced the FISA Court Reform Act of 2013 and the FISA Judge Selection Reform Act of 2013, two bills that would help the FISA courts better hold NSA accountable.
“Recent revelations of NSA abuses reaffirm the need for reform to assure effective oversight – including a special advocate who can push the FISA Court to hold NSA accountable, and uncover illegal over-reaching. Changes in selection of the Court judges can make it a more effective watchdog. The audit reveals a disregard or disrespect for Constitutional privacy rights that undermines public trust and credibility so essential for intelligence activities that protect our national security. Even as reforms progress, the Justice Department should investigate and pursue possible violations of law as appropriate.”