jump to example.com

Bob Goodlatte: Protecting Our Civil Liberties

bob-goodlatte-afp2Knowing of our shared commitment to the protection of the civil liberties of Americans, I write to give you an update on my oversight of the National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence-gathering programs that recently came to light. We must jealously guard U.S. citizens’ civil liberties and thoroughly review our nation’s intelligence-gathering programs to ensure these liberties are protected.

Classified information on top-secret NSA data collection programs was recently released. The PRISM program is described as allowing the NSA to obtain data from electronic service providers on non-U.S. person customers who reside outside the United States – including email, chat, photos, videos, stored data, and file transfers. The other program pertains to the ongoing production of call detail records or “telephony metadata.” Telephone metadata is a term used to refer to the bulk collection of certain telephone call business records. These records include the telephone numbers dialed and the time and duration of the call, but do not include the names or addresses of the callers or the content of the calls.

The business records provision in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) – often referred to as Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act – allows the government to access tangible items, including business records, in foreign intelligence, international terrorism and clandestine intelligence investigations. A FISA business records order must first be approved by a federal judge and cannot be used to search a person’s home, to acquire the content of emails or listen to telephone calls. While lawful, I would argue that the breadth of the NSA’s metadata program, namely the ongoing collection of all customers’ telephone metadata, exceeds Congress’ intent in enacting Section 215.

There are legitimate concerns and questions that have been raised about the NSA surveillance programs, including whether there are sufficient protections for Americans’ civil liberties and privacy, whether there is adequate oversight and transparency of the programs and whether the costs of the programs are justified. I share these concerns and am committed to thoroughly reviewing these programs, getting answers to these questions and finding ways to bolster the protection of our civil liberties.

As Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over these matters, I convened an oversight hearing on July 17, 2013, to examine the statutory authorities that govern certain programs operated under FISA. The Committee plans to conduct additional oversight, including a classified hearing, so that we can thoroughly review the data collection programs used by the NSA and ensure that the laws we have enacted are executed in a manner that protects Americans’ civil liberties. The Committee will follow the facts where they lead us.

On July 24, 2013, the House of Representatives voted to reject an amendment to H.R. 2397, the Department of Defense Appropriation Act for FY 2014, offered by Representative Justin Amash of Michigan. I voted against this amendment because, while well-intentioned, it would have had the effect of preventing the FBI from obtaining an individual order for any business record (not just telephone data) about a person associated with someone who is the subject of an authorized investigation. Adopting the Amash Amendment without careful deliberation would not have been prudent due to the unintended consequences of the amendment for law enforcement activities beyond the metadata program.

Furthermore, I want to share that I supported an amendment offered by Representative Mike Pompeo of Kansas that will ensure no taxpayer funds may be used by the NSA to acquire and store the content of an American’s communications, including phone calls and e-mails. This amendment clarifies that the government is not permitted to listen to or store Americans’ telephone conversations through this provision. This amendment was successfully approved by the House and the underlying bill passed the chamber by a vote of 315-109.

It is essential that we ensure America’s intelligence gathering system has the trust of the American people, whom it serves to defend. I look forward to continuing to work together to protect our civil liberties.

   
Discussion
 
Highlights

Another new poll gives Northam big lead in Virginia governor race

One Virginia governor race poll released yesterday had Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie tied.

Poll: Trump unpopular in Virginia

President Donald Trump is well under water among Virginia voters, according to new poll results released by the University of Mary Washington.

UVA alum Chris Long to donate first six NFL game checks to fund scholarships

The Chris Long Foundation announced today that Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Chris Long will donate his first six game checks of the 2017 NFL season to fund two scholarships in his hometown of Charlottesville.

Events Calendar

Upcoming events in the Shenandoah Valley, Central Virginia and statewide from the Augusta Free Press Events Calendar. Don't see your event listed? Email augustafreepress2@gmail.com.

Game Preview: VMI, Chattanooga look to get back on track on Saturday

VMI knew the 2017 football season was going to be a rebuilding year. Chattanooga, coming off a playoff appearance in 2016, had its usual high expectations.

Game Preview: UVA has a chance at Boise State

Vegas and the ESPN Power Index don’t give UVA much of a chance to win at Boise State on Friday night.

Street Knowledge with Chris Graham: First look at UVA-Boise State

Chris Graham and Scott German take a first look at the UVA-Boise State game set for Friday night.

The Petty Hearts bring Tom Petty tribute to Wayne Theatre on Sept. 22

Tom Petty tribute band The Petty Hearts are coming to the Wayne Theatre on Friday, Sept. 22.

Web Design, Marketing

Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.

   
Recent Posts
   
Your One-Stop Media Shop
Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, magazine/brochure, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.
  • Web Design

    You want a new website, but don’t have the first clue as to how to build one. That’s our job. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design and content development. Get your business online for as little as $1,299.
    Learn more about AFP Web Design services.
  • Graphic Design

    The staff at Augusta Free Press Publishing has been recognized by the Virginia Press Association for excellence in layout and design. Whether you need a fresh business card design, rack card, ad, flyer or full magazine design, we can help with all your graphic-design needs.
    Learn more about AFP Graphic Design services.
  • Marketing

    Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.
    Learn more about AFP Marketing services.