WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) released a statement on Thursday after voting against a six-year reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Murphy called for a larger debate about how to protect the privacy of our citizens and our national security.
“702 is an important program that empowers our intelligence agencies to uncover and thwart terror attacks, but Congress must make sure that it's used in ways that are legal and constitutional, and cannot be abused by people in power. I understand that’s a complicated balance to strike, but I voted against this bill because I believe it gives too much power to the government to listen in on and collect the communications of law-abiding Americans who have nothing to do with terrorism. In responsible hands, this kind of discretion should not worry people in Connecticut. But in the wrong hands, Americans' information could be easily collected by the government without their knowledge, and used for malevolent purposes," said Murphy. “This is a serious issue that warrants a real debate in Congress and across the country. Unfortunately, because Republican leadership rammed through the bill without allowing a single amendment, and without changes to guarantee Americans’ privacy rights, I couldn't support the bill.”