Article from NBC News by Senators Rand Paul and Ron Wyden.

Intelligence agency leaders are waging an all-out public relations campaign in support of their favored surveillance authority, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which expires at the end of this year. But at the same time they demand Congress renew this far-reaching spying power, officials are refusing to tell Americans how the government interprets this authority to sweep up and search their phone calls, emails, and other communications, all without a warrant.

In other words, the Administration is refusing to tell Congress — and, by extension, all Americans — what information they believe that they are allowed to collect on American citizens, based on a law passed by Congress that was intended to authorize the collection of communications of foreigners overseas.

For years, officials have refused to answer basic questions about how the government conducts surveillance. In recent months, however, intelligence leaders have dramatically escalated their efforts to hide important facts from Americans.

At an Intelligence Committee hearing in June, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was asked whether the law can be used to collect communications the government knows are entirely domestic. The DNI had a reassuring answer. “Not to my knowledge,” he testified. “It would be against the law.”

Read the entire article at NBC News.

 Image Credit: By Gregory Varnum (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons