The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy will hold a hearing next week on measures to increase transparency around NSA surveillance programs.
The Subcommittee — chaired by Sen. Al FrankenAl FrankenWhat killing net neutrality means for the internet Overnight Tech: Net neutrality fight descends into trench warfare | Zuckerberg visits Ford factory | Verizon shines light on cyber espionage Franken, top Dems blast FCC over net neutrality proposal MORE (D-Minn.) — will examine Franken’s Surveillance Transparency Act on Wednesday, Nov. 13.
The bill, which was introduced in August and reintroduced last week, would increase requirements for government reporting about surveillance and would allow companies to publish the scope of surveillance requests they receive and comply with.
Kevin Bankston, outgoing director of the Center for Democracy and Technology’s Free Expression project, will testify at the hearing, according to CDT staff.
According to a Google spokeswoman, the company's Director of Law Enforcement and Information Security, Richard Salgado, will be testifying as well.
During a Monday hearing held by Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which supervises anti-terrorism surveillance programs, intelligence agency officials warned against increased disclosures.
If companies publish information about how many and what types of surveillance requests they get, terrorists will be able to avoid the platforms that are highly monitored, the officials argued.
“That starts to give a lot more granularity about what our capabilities are” regarding specific companies, Robert Litt, general counsel at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said.
The agencies are concerned about “having this info broken down at a level of detail that would enable people to avoid surveillance,” he said.
“That kind of specificity is very, very difficult for us to accept,” Patrick Kelley, acting general counsel at the FBI, said.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is also examining this issue in a case brought by Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and LinkedIn.