February 21, 2014
Dear Mr. Andreu,
Thank you for contacting me with your support for the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet-collection, and Online Monitoring (USA FREEDOM) Act and your concerns with National Security Agency (NSA) PRISM program. I appreciate you taking the time to express your thoughts on these important issues.
As Americans, we greatly value our privacy and civil liberties. I strongly believe that the PATRIOT Act and our national security laws must be revisited, debated, and reformed.
As you may know, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) introduced the USA FREEDOM Act, which would restrict electronic surveillance and other forms of information gathering by the NSA for foreign intelligence, counterterrorism, and other criminal purposes.
Like you, I have serious concerns about reports that the NSA has been collecting phone records from millions of Americans. Although the records appear to be restricted only to the phone numbers and the length of calls (specifically excluding names and call content), great care needs to be taken where privacy is at stake. I believe greater oversight of the agencies collecting personal data is needed to prevent government overreach.
When our security is at risk, reforms must be targeted and thoughtful, not broad and hasty. I assure you I take civil liberties and privacy issues very seriously. Earlier this year, I voted against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), H.R. 624, because the bill did not include adequate provisions to protect American citizens’ personally identifiable information.
Currently, the USA FREEDOM Act has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, and I will keep your support in mind if this bill is brought to the House floor for a vote.
Thank you again for contacting me about the USA FREEDOM Act. I assure you that I am committed to effectively representing my constituents, and I can only do that when you and your neighbors share your views with me.
Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future regarding this or any other issue. For additional information on my work in Congress, please sign up for my e-newsletter at https://esty.house.gov/contact/newsletter.
Elizabeth H. Esty
Member of Congress