WASHINGTON—Today, Senator Lee issued the following statement after a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk collection of Americans’ phone records goes beyond what is authorized under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.
“The Second Circuit should be commended for its well-reasoned decision finding that the NSA’s bulk collection of metadata on all Americans is not authorized by the Patriot Act,” Lee said. “This decision only makes passage of my bill, the USA Freedom Act, more urgent because the bill would address the court’s legal concerns while giving intelligence agencies the clarity they need to protect national security."
Senator Lee and Senator Leahy are the bipartisan coauthors of the USA Freedom Act of 2015, which would end bulk collection under Section 215 and require greater oversight, transparency, and accountability with respect to domestic surveillance authorities. Three provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), including Section 215, are due to sunset on June 1. More information on the USA Freedom Act can be found here.