Udall Calls for Transparency on Authority to Collect Americans' Phone Records, Urges New Review of PATRIOT Act
Mark Udall, who serves on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement on the news that the federal government has collected the phone records of millions of Americans:
"The government's collection of millions of Americans' phone records is the type of surveillance I have long said would shock the public if they knew about it. We must strike the right balance between keeping Americans safe and protecting constitutional rights. As the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee acknowledged this morning, members of the committee have been briefed on this program. As a member of this committee, I have long been concerned that there are 'secret' interpretations of the law that the American people deserve to know about. This is why I have fought to amend the PATRIOT Act — and raised public concerns at every juncture.
"There are many ways to protect our nation, and one of the most important ways is to ensure the integrity of our constitutional liberties and that we have a transparent government that is accountable to the people it serves.
"The American people need to know how the president interprets his authorities under the PATRIOT Act, and I expect the president to uphold his commitment to transparency in the State of the Union address and his recent national-security speech. Once the American people understand how this law has been interpreted, I am certain they will join me in pushing to immediately change it."