Senator Steve Daines today stood alongside Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and called for the end of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk meta-data collection program.
Below are key excerpts from Daines’ floor speech:
“I know firsthand the power that big data holds – I also know the great risks that arise when this power is abused. There is a clear and direct threat to Americans’ civil liberties that comes with the mass collection of our personal information and phone records.
“This program is a direct threat to our Constitutional rights. It has jeopardized our civil liberties with little proven effectiveness.
“We must maintain a balance between protecting our nation’s security while also maintaining our civil liberties and Constitutional rights.
“We must remain vigilant – and we also must ensure that we have robust and transparent debate about these programs and what reforms must be implemented to protect Americans’ civil liberties.
“In light of all we have learned about the NSA’s unlawful bulk data collection program, it’s clear that reforms must happen. It’s critical that Americans’ rights are protected against government overreach.”
Daines has long worked to protect Montanans’ civil liberties and Fourth Amendment rights. Daines is an original cosponsor of the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015, bipartisan legislation that ends the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.
In the House, Daines was a vocal critic of the NSA’s bulk meta-data collection and was a supporter of the original USA FREEDOM Act that would have ended the NSA’s abuses and overreach.