WASHINGTON — Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker called for a broad expansion of the Obama administration domestic surveillance program, arguing that current data collection activities are capturing an inadequate amount of information to effectively identify terrorists.
Corker also predicted a new bipartisan effort to expand data collection as part of the upcoming Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act reauthorization, citing a classified briefing for senators on Tuesday as a key turning point.
"I'm just going to say to you that I think there was an 'ah ha' moment yesterday for people on both sides of the aisle when we realized how little data is being collected. At how little data is being collected. It was a shock," Corker said during a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.
"It's almost malpractice. Malpractice is the only word I can use to describe the amount of data that's being collected in the metadata program," Corker added.
The collection of bulk telephone and internet data has become a central battleground between hawks and civil libertarians in Congress and has put the reauthorization of the FISA in question.
"I know there's going to be a number of conversations taking place today on this" Corker said of the renewed push for an expanded FISA reauthorization. "I think you're going to see more people pushing, on a bipartisan basis … [because] the way it's being implemented today, I don't see how it's effective for the American people."
John Stanton is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New Orleans. In 2014, Stanton was a recipient of the National Press Foundation’s 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress.
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