U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, joined two other members of Congress on Friday in introducing legislation intended to help protect citizens' privacy by limiting the National Security Agency's surveillance program.
The bill named the LIBERT-E Act would require that NSA surveillance to have a clear link between an investigation and the data being collected, O'Rourke said in a news release.
The bill is in response to last week's revelation that the NSA was collecting in bulk millions of U.S. telephone records and digital communications from nine major Internet providers.
"I am deeply troubled by the revelation that the government has been collecting information on its citizens," O'Rourke said in a statement. "I believe the U.S. government should not have access to our phone records or email without probable cause or even a reasonable suspicion. No threat of terrorism should warrant spying on ordinary Americans."
O'Rourke said that the LIBERT-E Act would also help bring transparency to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court.
O'Rourke said the LIBERT-E Act would amend a section of the Patriot Act requiring standards that the government prove that the information being collected is related to a terrorism investigation or the gathering of foreign intelligence. The bill was introduced by U.S. Reps. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., and Justin Amash, R-Mich.
Daniel Borunda may be reached at dborunda@...; 546-6102.Follow him on Twitter @BorundaDaniel.