In a conference call Missouri Senator Roy Blunt spoke up about the recent “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act” briefing in the Senate. Recently the United States Senate underwent a full briefing on FISA and many United States Representatives were apparently shocked at how little information is actually collected. The purpose of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is to obtain intelligence on enemy agents or spies operating within the United States or individuals connected to international terrorist groups. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act which was introduced in 1978 has been amended several times including in 2001 and 2008. As the legislation currently stands the government must have probable cause that the target of surveillance is a foreign power or agent of a foreign power. Operations conducted under FISA must also be conducted in a manner consistent with the Fourth Amendment to the Bill of Rights.
Speaking in a conference call with Missouri media the Republican stated that at any given time the government doesn’t have any more information than a phone company on individuals suspected of terrorist activity, and that recording the phone calls of the general population would be impossible.
Blunt says he is opposed to this type of legislation becoming permanent law and called for lawmakers to recognize what the government is actually doing, instead of listening to hearsay. The Senator also called for FISA to be voted on repeatedly over time so the public is able to appropriately decide what is deemed suitable.