Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, argues the National Security Agency’s metadata program is here to stay despite opposition from a large coalition of lawmakers seeking to reform the Agency.
On Sunday’s Meet the Press on NBC, the Senator from California said, “The president has very clearly said that he wants to keep the capability [to surveil privately held metadata].” Feinstein added many of her colleagues agree with Obama on the issue.
The Senate Intelligence Chairwoman said, “the whole purpose of [the NSA spy program] is to provide instantaneous information [and] to be able to disrupt any plot that may be taking place.”
“A lot of the privacy people, perhaps, don’t understand that we still occupy the role of the Great Satan,” Feinstein told NBC. “New bombs are being devised. New terrorists are emerging, new groups, actually, a new level of viciousness.”
The President unveiled a small set of NSA reforms Friday to which Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Mike Rogers — Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — gave applause. Rogers, a Republican from Michigan, said Obama’s speech in defense of present NSA spying programs was a “victory.”
In his Friday statement, Obama said the federal government’s surveillance powers are in line with the efforts of Paul Revere and other founding patriots despite the fact that the Sons of Liberty were colonists spying on the British Government.
“The President said he will not end the Patriot Act’s Sec. 215 program that collects the records of every phone call every American makes,” said Rep. Amash. “Instead, he said that the government will continue to search those records without a warrant—but just a little less vigorously.”
Last month, Bill Binney — a 32-year NSA veteran — labeled America as “a police state.”
Binney told Washington’s Blog that what the federal surveillance agency is doing is “a total corruption of the justice system not only in [the United States] but around the world.”