Pocan Statement on Federal Court Decision on NSA Collection of Phone Data
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI) today issued the following statement on the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that the NSA’s warrantless collection of phone call records of millions of Americans is illegal:
“Today’s ruling confirms what we’ve known from the beginning – the NSA’s actions have broken the law and invaded the privacy of millions of Americans. It is long past time for Congress to make clear that such programs do not have a place in our democracy. We can be a nation with the strongest national security while also respecting the privacy and civil liberties of our citizens.
“If we are to preserve our right to privacy in the digital age, we must go further than what is in the current draft of the USA Freedom Act and repeal the entire PATRIOT Act. This is the best way to fully protect Americans from another invasion of privacy by our government.”
Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) this year introduced the Surveillance State Repeal Act, H.R. 1466, which offers a complete repeal of the 2001 PATRIOT Act, which the NSA has cited as the legal basis for its phone metadata harvesting surveillance program.
Additionally, the bill repeals the FISA Amendments Act, which contains provisions for email data harvesting, while overhauling the NSA’s domestic surveillance program. Additionally, the legislation makes retaliation against federal national security whistleblowers illegal and ensures any FISA collection against a US Person takes place only pursuant to a valid warrant based on probable cause.