Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chairman, Senate Committee On The Judiciary, On Government Oversight Of Surveillance Authorities

[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Friday responded to President Obama’s announcement that he will work with Congress to improve oversight of government surveillance programs under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).  Leahy recently introduced the bipartisan FISA Accountability and Privacy Protection Act of 2013 to reform and improve certain provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act and FISA Amendments Act.  He also chaired a hearing last week on privacy rights and national security featuring top administration officials.] 


“I welcome the President’s acknowledgement that greater transparency is needed in the ongoing public debate about government surveillance programs, and that he plans to work with Congress to implement reforms.  If we are going to have the debate that the President has called for, then the executive branch must be a full partner.  I will carefully examine the materials released today and will continue to press for greater transparency, including the release of significant FISA Court opinions about the Section 215 program.  I look forward to working with the President as the Senate Judiciary Committee continues to consider legislative options.”

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