Salmon’s Statement on President’s Changes to Signal Intelligence Activities

Jan 17, 2014
Press Release
Let’s clarify our laws and ensure these protections for U.S. citizens are never infringed upon

Washington—Today, Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) released the following statement regarding the President’s announced changes to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) phone-data collection program:  

“While I appreciate these steps, I remain concerned about the privacy rights of American citizens.

“I believe we must err on the side of freedom. The NSA’s collection of domestic data on U.S. citizens must be limited in scope and related to a duly authorized investigation. This would allow our national security community the tools they need to fight the ever-changing battle against terrorism, while preserving our constitutional rights.

“I agree with the President that Congress does have a role. That is why I am a cosponsor of H.R. 3361, USA FREEDOM Act, that would reform and rewrite the Patriot Act. Protecting U.S. civil liberties and our constitutional right to due process is not up for debate. It is important to clarify our laws and ensure these protections for U.S. citizens are never infringed upon, while still meeting our national security needs.

“As we’ve seen this past year from multiple NSA leaks, the federal government collects phone records and intercepts electronic communications on a scale previously unknown to most Americans. The lesson is clear: we must remain vigilant to ensure that law abiding Americans’ information isn’t needlessly swept up into a government database and that Congress can fulfil its duty of oversight, enacting enact sound laws and fixing broken ones.”

Privacy for American citizens remains a top priority of Rep. Salmon. He is a sponsor/cosponsor of the following legislation:

  • Sponsor of H.R. 1847, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2013, a bill designed to increase protections for electronic communications, including personal emails, of U.S. citizens. His bill addresses the privacy concerns raised from the recent position by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that the Fourth Amendment does not protect the privacy of personal emails because internet users do not “have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications.” The Senate companion, S. 607, is sponsored by Senator Lee (R-UT) and Chairman Leahy (D-VT). More information about this bill can be found here.
  • Cosponsor of H.R. 3361, The USA FREEDOM Act, which is legislation designed to rein in the dragnet collection of data by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies, increase transparency of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), provide businesses the ability to release information regarding FISA requests, and create an independent constitutional advocate to argue cases before the FISC. Read more about this bill here.
  • Cosponsor of the bipartisan bill, H.R. 2399, the Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act (LIBERT-E Act) that restricts the federal government’s ability under the Patriot Act to collect information on Americans who are not connected to an ongoing investigation. The bill also requires that secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court opinions be made available to Congress and summaries of the opinions be made available to the public. Read more about this legislation here.

Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) serves on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. He is also a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
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