NSA news has North Dakota's Congressional delegation wondering what lies aheadNorth Dakota's Congressional delegation is concerned about the National Security Agency's missteps in spying Americans on American soil.
North Dakota's Congressional delegation is concerned about the National Security Agency's missteps in spying Americans on American soil.
In light of repeated revelations about the federal government's surveillance activities, some members of North Dakota's congressional delegation said they favor reform.
One program reportedly allows the federal government to gather bulk phone records of millions of U.S. citizens. Another is PRISM, in which the NSA accesses the communications of users of the most popular technology companies, although the Obama Administration has argued that program is focused on non-U.S. citizens and information is obtained through a court order.
Sen. John Hoeven says he has concerns about both programs. Hoeven, who is the longest-serving member of the current North Dakota congressional delegation, voted in 2011 to extend the Patriot Act.
The law includes a provision that officials have used as a legal justification for gathering phone records, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. That provision, formally known as Section 215, allows federal agencies to collect "any tangible things" that are relevant to a national security investigation, according to the Council.
Both Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, and Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer were sworn into office earlier this year, and haven't voted on either the Patriot Act or the FISA reauthorization.