Strange Bedfellows: Liberals and Libertarians Unite Against NSA

Liberal lawmaker Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, and libertarian Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky have apparently found common cause in opposing what they see as unchecked and excessively secret communications intercepts by the National Security Agency that have come to light as a result of NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s revelations.

“What I’m going to zero in on is much of what the intelligence leadership in the past has been misleading about, has shrouded in incomprehensible intelligence-speak or has just been flat-out wrong,” Wyden told the New York Times, explaining an amendment he plans on attaching to a defense bill that would require intelligence agencies to reveal how often they have violated privacy rules, and how many times have they collected “meta data” on cellphone calls and other communications.  The bill stops short of imposing new restrictions on NSA intelligence collection, a debate Sen. Wyden seems eager to have at a later date. “I think there’s an opportunity to work with senators of varying different views to set the record straight about the government’s surveillance authority and jump-start the broader debate about intelligence reform,” he said.

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