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An activist from the Internet Party of Ukraine participates during a rally supporting Edward Snowden, a former contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), in front of U.S. embassy, in Kiev June 27, 2013. Former U.S. spy agency contractor Snowden was
Sens. Mark Udall (D-CO) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), both members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, have been working for a few years to warn the public about the kind of abuses in domestic surveillance that have now been revealed by the Snowden leaks. The two senators want us to know that there's much more out there in their statement in reaction to the new revelations.
“The executive branch has now confirmed that the 'rules, regulations and court-imposed standards for protecting the privacy of Americans' have been violated thousands of times each year.  We have previously said that the violations of these laws and rules were more serious than had been acknowledged, and we believe Americans should know that this confirmation is just the tip of a larger iceberg.

While Senate rules prohibit us from confirming or denying some of the details in today's press reports, the American people have a right to know more details about of these violations. We hope that the executive branch will take steps to publicly provide more information as part of the honest, public debate of surveillance authorities that the Administration has said it is interested in having.

In particular, we believe the public deserves to know more about the violations of the secret court orders that have authorized the bulk collection of Americans' phone and email records under the USA PATRIOT Act.  The public should also be told more about why the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has said that the executive branch's implementation of section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has circumvented the spirit of the law, particularly since the executive branch has declined to address this concern. [...]

The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf writes today that we need a new Church Committee to dig into the decade-long series of abuses the intelligence community has perpetrated. He argues Sen. Wyden should chair it. Reading this interview with Sen. Wyden in Rolling Stone confirms that it's not a bad idea. At all. Just as long, as Friedersdorf says, Sen. Dianne Feinstein is kept off of it.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Aug 16, 2013 at 01:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by Koscadia, PDX Metro, Colorado COmmunity, and Daily Kos.

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