Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said Sunday that a group of Senators who feel the President’s National Security Agency reform announcement last week does little to protect Americans’ privacy will continue to work on legislation to limit the agency’s spying powers.
“There’s a concern that we have gone too much into Americans’ privacy,” the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman told Fox News. “There’s still going to be legislation on this.”
Leahy said that Democrat and Republican members of the Nation’s upper legislative chamber are joining together in an effort to produce legislation to strike a balance between protecting the Nation and individual privacy.
“I just think that there should be oversight,” Leahy said. “Think back in the history of this county, in J. Edgar Hoover’s day and all — if he had had the power when he was spying on protesters and those against the Vietnam War and Martin Luther King — if he had had the power that’s in here, think what might have happened. We Americans believe in our safety. We also believe in our ability to be private.”
“You still have to have some checks and balances before you have a government that can run amok,” Leahy said.
The lawmaker also noted that many proponents of NSA reform on Capitol Hill worry that the President’s announcement on Friday could make it more difficult for lawmakers to produce effective legislation.
The bottom line, according to Leahy, is that the current situation puts government in control of the people instead of the other way around.
“The concern everybody has is allowing our government to have such a reach into your private life, my private life, and everybody else’s, that we are, we have the government controlling us instead of us controlling the government.”