WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and former chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, released the following statement after voting in opposition to H.R. 5949, the FISA Amendments Act Reauthorization Act.
“As Americans increasingly connect with one another through an array of technologies and devices, the government should not view this as an opportunity to collect more information about its own citizens. Congress should not simply rubberstamp five more years of the FISA Amendments Act when serious concerns have been raised about the extent to which the government conducts surveillance over its own citizens. As we commemorate the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks this week, we can and should provide for intelligence gathering against terrorist organizations while still protecting Americans’ privacy.”
In May, Rep. Markey sought the first-ever accounting of the number of law enforcement requests of Americans’ mobile phone information. Rep. Markey’s inquiry revealed that law enforcement made 1.3 million requests to wireless carriers for consumers’ personal information. In response to this revelation, Rep. Markey released a discussion draft of the “Wireless Surveillance Act of 2012”, legislation that addresses the increasing number of law enforcement requests for mobile phone data revealed by lawmaker's ongoing investigation. Rep. Markey’s wireless surveillance draft legislation would require regular disclosures from law enforcement on the nature and volume of requests they make, curb sweeping information requests, establish needed accountability for emergency situations, and mandate regulations from the Federal Communications Commission to limit how long carriers can keep personal information.