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Jun 12, 2013

Tester, Baucus to Civil Liberties board: Your mission is clear

(U.S. SENATE) - In the wake of revelations about the scope of the federal government's controversial spying programs, Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus want the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to get to work.

The oversight board investigates national security measures to make sure they do not violate the privacy and civil liberties of law-abiding American citizens. News reports earlier this month revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) secretly monitors Americans' phone and internet records without their knowledge.

Tester and Baucus, two leading voices for protecting Americans' privacy and civil liberties, want the panel to examine the NSA to make sure the government is following the law and respecting Americans' Constitutional rights as it takes steps to protect the nation.

"We request that you make it an urgent priority to investigate the programs and determine whether they are conducted within the statutory authority granted by Congress, and take the necessary precautions to protect the privacy and civil liberties of American citizens under the Constitution," Tester and Baucus told board members.

Tester, who previously pushed the President to fill the oversight board's vacancies, and Baucus asked the panel to release an unclassified report of its findings.

The five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, created in 2004, was a key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission.

Tester, a long-time critic of the Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that made it easier for the government to spy on Americans, is actively working to strengthen Americans' civil liberty and privacy protections in the wake of the recent revelations.

In addition to criticizing the collection of Americans' personal communications, this week he introduced a bill to expose the "secret law" preventing Americans from knowing about the legal arguments the government uses to spy on them. Baucus is also co-sponsoring the "Ending Secret Law" Act.

Both Baucus and Tester also voted against reauthorizing the secret FISA courts at the end of 2012.

Tester's bipartisan letter to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board by les_braswell5524

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Glendive, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.

Billings

Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768

Bozeman

Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647

Butte

Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Glendive

122 W Towne
Glendive, MT 59330
Phone: (406) 365-2391
Fax: (406) 365-8836

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586

Helena

Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

14 Third Street E, Suite 230
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974

Missoula

130 W Front Street
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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