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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio says he's 'concerned' about Obama's NSA reforms



Sen. Marco Rubio said today that he's "concerned" wwith some of President Barack Obama's ideas to reform the National Security Agency's data gathering.

“Our intelligence collection programs are vital tools used by the government to defend the security of the U.S. homeland," Rubio said in a statement. "I am concerned that some of President Obama’s suggestions today go too far and may make it more difficult for the government to carry out its constitutional responsibility to keep Americans safe.

“The collection programs we have in place are legally authorized and receive robust oversight from Congress as well as the judiciary.  Over the past several months, we’ve had a vigorous debate following the damaging leaks that revealed the existence of many programs President Obama discussed today.

“As the president seeks both legislative and administrative changes to current authorities, I and other members of the intelligence committee will closely examine their impact to ensure keeping our people safe is our foremost goal while maintaining proper safeguards against unnecessary intrusions of our people’s civil liberties.

“In this ongoing war against terrorism, the vital work of the men and women of the intelligence community is our front line of defense.  We need to ensure that those who work in the intelligence community have the tools they need to piece together information in order to defend our nation as well as our allies.”

Compare Rubio's response with Sen. Rand Paul's:

“While I am encouraged the President is addressing the NSA spying program because of pressure from Congress and the American people, I am disappointed in the details. The Fourth Amendment requires an individualized warrant based on probable cause before the government can search phone records and e-mails. President Obama's announced solution to the NSA spying controversy is the same unconstitutional program with a new configuration,” Sen. Paul said. “I intend to continue the fight to restore Americans rights through my Fourth Amendment Restoration Act and my legal challenge against the NSA. The American people should not expect the fox to guard the hen house.”

[Last modified: Friday, January 17, 2014 3:40pm]


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