On Tuesday, many Representatives left a briefing about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs unsatisfied that their concerns about privacy were fully addressed.
Lawmakers met with officials from the Justice Department, the National Security Agency, and the FBI about the phone and Internet surveillance programs that came to light after Edward Snowden leaked the sensitive info last week to the Guardian and the Washington Post.
The Hill reported that lawmakers were frustrated that the briefers did not answer questions they had about privacy concerns.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who had earlier said the Obama administration had “gone too far” with the surveillance programs in eroding privacy rights, told the The Hill, “Most of the members that spoke seemed to be pretty concerned.” And Rep. Bill Long (R-MO) said he also had “grave concerns” about the programs.
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) acknowledged that “those with the greatest concerns for the privacy area are asking more of the questions.”
“Right now we have a situation where the executive branch is getting a billion records a day, and we’re told they would not query that data except pursuant to very clear standards,” Sherman told The Hill. “But we don’t have courts making sure those standards are always followed.”
Briefers also reportedly declined to answer questions about the whereabouts of Snowden and their investigation of him.