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Pelosi Statement on Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Report

San Francisco – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today in response to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted Under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court):

“The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board’s detailed analysis offers an important contribution to the ongoing public debate on balancing national security and Americans’ privacy and civil liberties. 

“The Board’s report addresses many concerns raised by Members of Congress, which I included in a letter to the Board in July 2013.  Of particular interest was the Board’s analysis of whether the government and courts are interpreting the law, including the Section 215 ‘relevant to’ an investigation standard, consistent with congressional intent and public expectations. 

“The report also addresses increasing the transparency of FISA Court decisions and operations and includes recommendations for engaging non-government special advocates.  In my letter, I also asked the Board to assess ways that the government can leverage new technologies to protect national security while better preserving Americans’ privacy and civil liberties, which I hope can be explored in the near term.

“In the coming weeks, Congress will carefully review the Board’s findings and recommendations, many of which are consistent with the initiatives announced by President Obama on January 17, and will hold related hearings.  The Board’s report underscores the need for Members of Congress to work with the Administration to pass legislative reforms to ensure our intelligence collection architecture keeps Americans safe, and meets our privacy and civil liberties expectations.”