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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida lawmakers split on NSA surveillance controversy



WASHINGTON — As questions continue to mount over the National Security Agency's surveillance programs, Florida lawmakers are splitting between those who defend the programs as necessary and those worried about an invasion of privacy.

The mixed reaction reflects public opinion and the overall response on Capitol Hill.

"Clearly, a lot of what has happened over the past week raises a lot of questions about whether the intelligence agencies have gone too far in the collection of data," said Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, who sat in a briefing about the program Tuesday with other House members.

"My concern is how much domestic data is swept in," she said. "I think the security of the country is paramount, but we can't sacrifice our constitutional protections under the Fourth Amendment."

Rep. Trey Radel, a freshman Republican from Fort Myers, said: "It's good that I've only been here six months because I'm not so jaded that I look at this and say, 'Oh, sure go ahead and look at everybody's records.' That's what I'm hearing from some senior members. I want to know how there can be better oversight and whether there can be stricter parameters."

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 10:16pm]


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