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Aug 1, 2013

Tester renews push for answers on government surveillance programs

(U.S. SENATE) - Senator Jon Tester says Montanans have the right to know if the federal government is spying on them.

Tester is backing legislation to require the government to release more data about the type and amount of private information it is collecting under the Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). His bill also lets private companies - like Google and Microsoft - publicly disclose what kinds of information the government forces them to collect.

"Montanans have the right to know if they're being spied on," said Tester, who recently gave a speech on the Senate floor about the importance of Americans' civil liberties. "This bill will help Congress hold government officials accountable and find the right balance between protecting our civil liberties and our national security."

Tester, a leading voice for protecting Americans' privacy and civil liberties, recently introduced legislation to declassify important Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions so Americans know what legal arguments the government is using to spy on them.

The bill Tester co-sponsored today, the Surveillance Transparency Act, will broaden the range of information the government must declassify to include the number of rulings made by the FISA Court, the number of Americans who have had their information collected, and details about the kinds of data being collected.

Since Edward Snowden revealed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court secretly granted the National Security Agency access to Americans' phone and internet records without their knowledge, Tester has taken multiple steps to rein in the federal government.

Tester, who has voted to repeal the Patriot Act multiple times, is demanding answers about the scope of the government's surveillance programs from the government's top intelligence official and recently called on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to investigate the spying programs.

Tester today also sponsored two more bills to reform the FISA Court and change the way its judges are selected. Currently, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court holds exclusive power to select judges from the federal bench to the court.

Tester's Surveillance Transparency Act 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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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