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Franken: Americans still in the dark on government surveillance

Posted by: Corey Mitchell under Minnesota U.S. senators, Democrats, Republicans Updated: November 13, 2013 - 12:14 PM

Months after revelations about the National Security Agency’s once-secret surveillance programs, U.S. Sen. Al Franken said Americans still remain in the dark about the scope and sweep of the monitoring.

Americans still don’t know how many people had their information collected under the programs and how much of that information has been viewed by government officials, and not merely collected for databases.

Franken is chairing a Senate hearing on government surveillance today, bringing privacy experts, a representative from Google and officials from the Office of National Intelligence and the Justice Department to Capitol Hill.

“The administration has taken good steps in good faith to address this problem. But I’m afraid that these steps are too little, and they’re not permanent,” Franken said in his opening statement.

“And so, Americans still have no way of knowing whether the government is striking the right balance between privacy and security – or whether their privacy is being violated. There needs to be more transparency.”

The hearing is part of Franken’s push for more transparency in how the government collects data on its citizens. He’s laying out an argument for his bipartisan bill that would boost reporting of surveillance programs.

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