May 11, 2006

Memo to Members of the House Democratic Caucus on NSA program

FR: Democratic Members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

RE: USA Today article on NSA Domestic Surveillance Program

All nine of us met this afternoon to discuss the serious issues raised by this morning’s USA Today article describing NSA’s collection of telephone records, as well as another report that the NSA has denied lawyers at the Department of Justice the necessary security clearances to investigate the President’s Domestic Surveillance program.

We take a backseat to nobody in demanding that the federal government have strong tools to detect terrorist plots. You entrust us to oversee our nation’s secret intelligence programs, and we owe it to you – and the American people – to ensure that these programs are not only effective, but also consistent with the Constitution, laws, and values of the United States.

This morning’s article reinforces our long-held view that any and all electronic surveillance of Americans – including all activities of the President’s surveillance program – must comply with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the Fourth Amendment.

Any collection of personal telephone records requires a warrant approved by an independent magistrate on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Warrantless collection violates the on

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