Menendez Votes Against Wiretapping Bill

Menendez Votes Against Wiretapping Bill

Washington - Today, the U.S. Senate voted on a bill to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a program that allows the federal government to wiretap the phone conversations of Americans. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) voted against the bill, citing concerns that the bill offers too few protections for American citizens. He released the following statement:

"This bill still provides too much leeway for our government to ignore the rights and freedoms of its own citizens. I voted against it because of the retroactive immunity it provides phone companies that allegedly participated in the president's illegal wiretapping program, because of the loopholes to the requirement of judicial approval for wiretapping, and because it provides too few protections for innocent Americans, among other questionable provisions. Under this law, we will never know what constitutional violations take place.

"We can defend our nation effectively without restricting the protections that law-abiding American citizens are owed. Americans must be able to live in freedom and maintain their personal privacy without fear that their government will intrude. If, in the name of security, the U.S. government encroaches upon the rights we hold dear, then it has ignored what makes this country so special. At the end of the day, we can achieve the security we need while protecting the rights we cherish."

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