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July 25, 2013

Pelosi to Obama: "There are lingering questions and concerns" about NSA programs

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday began circulating a letter to President Barack Obama raising concerns about the National Security Agency's data collection programs.

Pelosi voted against curbs on the programs Wednesday, but said at her weekly press conference Thursday, she had a number of questions.

Here's part of her letter:

"Although some of us voted for and others against the amendment, we all agree that there are lingering questions and concerns about the current 215 collection program.  These include:

  • ·        Whether the bulk metadata telecommunications collection program sufficiently protects the privacy and civil liberties of Americans. 
  • ·        Whether the program could be tailored more narrowly to better ensure the protection of privacy and civil liberties.
  • ·        Whether the law is being implemented in a manner consistent with Congressional intent.
  • ·        How we can ensure greater transparency regarding FISA court operations, decision making, and issuance of orders. 
  • ·        Whether changes to the current FISA Court structure are needed.

Congress must examine the various national security collection programs and consider amendments to the law.  We have been assured that the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board has embarked on a review of the collection programs done pursuant to FISA and the Patriot Act, and has agreed to review various legislative proposals. 

 We look forward to working with you and Administration officials to address the concerns outlined above and to explore options which will preserve Americans’ privacy and civil liberties while protecting our national security."

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