Paul, Wyden, Heinrich

MTP to USA Freedom Act (H.R. 2048)

Senator Paul: (7:05 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Security Agency.
    • "I think the bill may be replacing one form of bulk collection with another, but the government after this bill passes will no longer collect your phone records. My concern is that the phone companies still may do the same thing. Currently, my understanding is the N.S.A. is at the phone company sucking up the phone records and sending them to Utah. My concern is under the new program, that the records will still be sucked up into N.S.A. computers but the computers will be at the phone company, not in Utah. So the question is, will it be a distinction without a difference? The question also will be, will this be individualized?"


Senator Wyden: (7:43 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Security Agency.
    • "With respect to this question of the government, you know, listening, I want it particularly understood that when the government has this kind of information, I believe that represents a threat to our liberty. And the reason why I think so is, hardly a week goes by, when databases aren't violated. We see that reported regularly in the press, number one. Number two, we've known about unfortunate times in our history -- J. Edgar Hoover comes to mind -- when this kind of information could be used. And, third, I've been very concerned, given what our former colleague, Senator Udall, and I had to do with respect to bulk phone record collection of e-mail. We battled to end this - and of course this was e-mail that could be read by government agencies. We battled with various intelligence leaders saying that we felt this a violation of people's rights, and it wasn't effective."


Senator Heinrich: (7:56 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Security Agency.
    • "That's what the U.S.A. Freedom Act is. It's a product of bipartisan compromise. That's why it passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 338-88. And, let's be blunt, many of those who voted against it didn't do so because they support bulk collection. They did so because they want to see section 215 wither and die in its entirety. That's the political reality that we face today, and we need to accept it rather than demand a continuation of a program that the appeals court has determined is illegal."