PATRIOT Act Author Meets With EU Parliament To Say NSA Is Out Of Control

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican Congressman from Wisconsin
and a chief architect of the Patriot Act, has made headlines for

criticizing the NSA’s domestic spying
. He considers the spying
– and Dianne Feinstein’s recently
proposed legislation
to codify it into legal legitimacy – a

overreach of federal powers that undermines civil
liberties. Earlier this week, Sensenbrenner met with members of the
European Parliament to discuss his plan for reining the agency

The meeting took place at the Parliament’s
Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs’ hearing on
the United States’ mass surveillance of EU citizens. According to

the Guardian
, it is likely the first time a
US congressman has delivered testimony before a European parliament

Sensenbrenner, who was the chairman of the House Judiciary
Committee during the 9/11 attacks, told the committee that while he
continues to support the intentions and effectiveness of the
Patriot Act, he believes it has been used misused and abused by the

Sensenbrenner’s testimony, from
PJ Media

Congress knew the country needed new tools and broader
authorities to combat those who meant to harm us, but we never
intended to allow the National Security Agency to peer
indiscriminately into the lives of innocent people all over the

I firmly believe the Patriot Act saved lives by strengthening
the ability of intelligence agencies to track and stop potential
terrorists, but in the past few years, the National Security Agency
has weakened, misconstrued and ignored the civil liberty
protections we drafted into the law,” he said, adding that the NSA
“ignored restrictions painstakingly crafted by lawmakers and
assumed a plenary authority we never imagined.

Worse, the NSA has cloaked its operations behind such a thick
cloud of secrecy that, even if the NSA promised reforms, we would
lack the ability to verify them.

Sensenbrenner then discussed has proposed legislation. The

USA Freedom Act
, which he co-introduced with Senator Pat Leahy
(D-VT), aims to end
metadata collection
 and create several other “privacy
protections” for citizens. It has so far
garnered more than 100 co-sponsors
as well as endorsements from
groups like the ACLU and the NRA. 

Although Sensenbrenner informed the committee members that there
was little his bill could realistically do to curtail overseas
spying on their citizens, the Guardian
that his testimony was still “well received.”

from Hit & Run

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.