Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: NSA Reforms Must Strengthen National Security & Preserve Americans’ Privacy

March 25, 2014
Press Release

Washington, DC– Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today released the following statement on President Obama’s comments about his Administration's proposal to overhaul its surveillance programs, notably ending the bulk collection and storage of phone records. The proposal is expected to be released this week ahead of a March 28 deadline set by the President.

“For years, millions of Americans have been kept in the dark about the collection of their personal data by their own government, in the name of national security, without any evidence that such intrusive actions were effective in preventing attacks on our country,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who is a strong supporter of current legislation to overhaul surveillance practices. “I welcome the news of the President moving toward ending the sweeping collection of our personal data, and look forward to reviewing the President’s legislative proposal in detail after its release later this week. I will continue working toward bringing about reforms that strike the necessary balance of protecting our constitutional right to privacy and maintaining strong national security.  The American people should not have to choose between the two.”

Reports have indicated the Obama Administration’s proposal will require phone records to remain under the control of phone companies, which they would keep for a minimum of 18 months.  The NSA currently collects the data, and retains it for five years.

The President’s Review Group and the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), an independent watchdog group, have questioned the constitutionality of the NSA’s surveillance practices.

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