205 Congress Members Say Don’t Collect Our Phone Records . .

25 Jul

The issue:  An amendment to stop funding for the collection of electronic data without a direct link to an authorized investigation.

 

217 voted to allow the NSA to continue to collect phone records of US Citizens.  In one of the most heated battles ever televised in the House, the Amash Amendment, was defeated today.  The Amendent was placed in the National Defense Authorization Act, which funds military operations, and stated that no funding could be used for the collection of cell phone data from US Citizens.  

The stage was set on Tuesday when The White house weighed in  with a release from Press Secretary Jay Carney:

. . .  we oppose the current effort in the House to hastily dismantle one of our Intelligence Community’s counterterrorism tools.  This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process.  We urge the House to reject the Amash Amendment, and instead move forward with an approach that appropriately takes into account the need for a reasoned review of what tools can best secure the nation.

 

Rep. Amash quickly tweeted back: 

When’s the last time a president put out an emergency statement against an amendment? The Washington elites fear liberty. They fear you.

 

The exhanges in the house were similarly terse.  Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-CA, eloquently argued that the Constitution and statute are not being following.  Rep. Lofgren pointed out that business records, which are currently collected could include phone records, internet records, credit card records, medical records and more.  Opponents of the Amendment argue that, although the government collects the data, the data is not actually reviewed until their is an investigation.  They further argue that terrorist attacks have been and will continue to be thwarted by the use of electronic monitoring.

What are your thoughts on the NSA collection of citizens information?  Are you comfortable with the government collecting your records if it does not use them, absent an investigation.

 

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