HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – In the days since information was leaked, that the National Security Agency obtained millions of Verizon customers’ phone records, lawmakers have spoken out for and against the national security efforts.
Congressman Mo Brooks has made it clear in the past that national defense and security is of the utmost importance. However, he believes the sweeping information grab by the federal government is cause for concern.
“We’re going to have more vigorous debate than we’ve ever had before between the type of info the NSA can acquire, versus a desire to protect NYC, or DC, or Redstone Arsenal from being subject to weapons of mass destruction,” said Brooks.
In the united states there is an ever-present tension between security and liberty, but when it comes to the National Security Agency’s acquisition of millions of American’s Verizon phone records, Brooks says another issue comes into play: trust.
“If they’re not going to tell us the truth on Benghazi and similar types of issues, it tends to undermine the trust that is necessary for we the people to bestow upon the Federal Government the type of information they demand,” said Brooks.
When Brooks returns to Washington, he hopes Congress will take action to limit the information available for scrutiny.
However, Senator John McCain has defended the NSA. Saying lawmakers have no ground to stand on, if they disapprove of the NSA’s actions.
“We passed the Patriot Act, we passed specific provisions of the act that allowed for this program to take place,” said McCain. “If members of Congress did not know what they were voting on, I say that’s their responsibility more than the government’s.”
Senator Rand Paul views the phone record seizure as such a breach of citizens’ privacy, that he has promised to file a class action lawsuit.
Brooks says, no matter what the outcome, this debate of privacy versus safety is one that will never go away and will always be hotly debated.