Franken aims to reveal scope of NSA surveillance


"The government has to give proper weight to both keeping America safe from terrorists and protecting Americans' privacy. When everything about these programs is secret and when the companies involved are under strict gag orders, the American public has no way of knowing whether we're getting that balance right," he said. "I think that's bad for privacy and bad for democracy."

Franken's bill, which he said he is introducing with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and others, would force the government to reveal how many people in the United States have had their information reviewed by federal agents. It would also allow companies to disclose aggregate figures about the number of surveillance orders they have received and how many users were affected by the orders. 

A coalition of civil liberties groups and Internet companies called on the administration and Congress earlier this month to take the same steps to increase transparency about the programs.