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Brown Says Senate Must Balance Freedom And Security

Sherrod Brown

The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to end the National Security Agency (NSA) bulk collection of American’s telephone records, and the issue is now moving to the Senate. Ohio’s Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown has been a strong critic of what he sees as the excesses of the Patriot Act, including the bulk collection of data by the National Security Agency. And he met recently with CIA and NSA officials to discuss those concerns.

“There’s still lots of things we need to work out in an open, free society—where government has a role of protecting us and trying to figure out what terrorist are doing, but at the same time making sure that privacy’s protected,” he said. “I think we’ve erred … against privacy a bit and we need to right that ship.”

The House version of the bill would allow the phone companies to continue to keep records, and the FBI and NSA could gain access to them through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants a bill that gives the spy agencies the right to do their own data sweeps.