Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on President’s Announcement for Additional Transparency on Surveillance Requests

January 27, 2014
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today issued the following statement on the announcement that the Obama administration will allow internet and communications companies to be more transparent about the National Security Agency (NSA) requests they receive. They will be allowed to publicly disclose information regarding the number of requests for information, the total number of customer accounts targeted by the requests, and the legal authorities to support the request.

“The NSA’s sweeping surveillance programs threaten the civil liberties that so many Americans have fought to protect and the prosperity and growth of our technology sector,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “Secret orders issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court have required private technology companies to turn over unprecedented amounts of personal information, with no transparency or recourse.

“The President’s call for transparency and openness is necessary, and a further indication of the need to overhaul our surveillance policies, reign in the NSA’s overreach and bulk collection of information and review of innocent Americans’ communications.”

Last week, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent watchdog group, issued a 238-page report concluding that the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records has only provided minimal benefit in combating terrorism, and that the program is illegal and should be shut down.

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