Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Commends U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling that NSA Bulk Phone Surveillance Program is Illegal
Washington, D.C.– CongresswomanTulsi Gabbard (HI-02) issued the following statement today on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s ruling that the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk collection of American phone records is illegal.
“The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals stood up for protecting our civil liberties, ruling unanimously today that the collection of innocent Americans phone records by the NSA is illegal,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “The American people deserve to have confidence that the government will balance its' responsibilities of protecting our civil liberties and privacy, and keeping the American people safe. I have authored and cosponsored several measures to overhaul U.S. surveillance law and next week, the House of Representatives is expected to take up the USA Freedom Act, which looks to take further steps toward real reform that protects our civil liberties and increases transparency.”
This decision comes before the June 1 expiration of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, which authorizes the current NSA “bulk collection” program of calls made or received by Americans.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has been a leading voice and critic of the NSA’s overreaching surveillance programs and has worked in a bipartisan way to strengthen oversight of the agency. Last year, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard introduced the bipartisan, bicameral SPOT Act,which would expand the role of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent government watchdog agency, and give the Board greater authorities to carry out its function of balancing the government’s national security and counterterrorism activities with the need to protect the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans.