Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, February 4 at 10:00 a.m., the House Judiciary Committee will hold a comprehensive hearing to examine the various recommendations to reform our nation’s intelligence-gathering programs operated under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) recently made by President Obama, the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, and the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. There will be two panels of witnesses at next week’s hearing. Witnesses for the first panel will be:
- The Honorable James M. Cole, United States Department of Justice;
- Mr. Peter P. Swire, Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology; and
- Mr. David Medine, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.
Witnesses for the second panel will be:
- Mr. Steven G. Bradbury, Dechert, LLP;
- Mr. Dean Garfield, Information Technology Industry Council; and
- Mr. David D. Cole; Georgetown University Law Center.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released the statement below on next week’s hearing.
Chairman Goodlatte: “The Section 215 bulk telephone data collection program is in need of significant reform in order to regain the trust of the American people and to protect our civil liberties. Several differing recommendations to reform our intelligence-gathering programs have been made recently by President Obama and two review boards. Since the House Judiciary Committee has primary jurisdiction over the legal framework of these programs, it’s important that the Committee carefully and methodically sort through these various recommendations so that we make decisions that are in the best interest of the American people. We must ensure our nation’s intelligence collection programs include real protections for Americans’ civil liberties, robust oversight, and additional transparency. I look forward to hearing the different perspectives of the witnesses next week so that we are fully informed as we move forward with legislative action.”
Background: Next week’s hearing is part of the Committee’s aggressive oversight of this issue. In July 2013, the Committee held a public hearing to examine the statutory authorities that govern certain surveillance programs operated under FISA, in which the Committee heard from officials from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and civil liberties groups. In September 2013, the Committee also held a classified hearing where members of the House Judiciary Committee were afforded the opportunity to further probe government officials from the DOJ, the ODNI, the NSA, and the FBI about our nation’s surveillance programs.