Blumenthal: New NSA report shows need for intelligence court reforms

A recent report said that the NSA searched through Americans’ messages that mentioned foreigners under surveillance, not just communications with the targeted individuals.

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“Once again, Americans are learning of broad NSA programs that potentially go beyond what the law appears to authorize,” Blumenthal said. “If the American people are to feel confident that these programs are not inappropriately and impermissibly infringing on our right to privacy, we must have confidence in the constraints developed and implemented by the FISA courts.”

Blumenthal has introduced two bills to reform the FISA court. The FISA Court Reform Act would create a “special advocate” with the power to argue in the FISA court on behalf of citizens' rights to privacy. The FISA Judge Selection Reform Act would change how judges are appointed to the FISA court to ensure diversity on the court. 

“The FISA courts as they exist today — secretive, one-sided, not reflective of the diversity of views held by the American people — simply do not inspire the necessary confidence,” Blumenthal said. “These latest revelations make these reforms all the more pressing.”