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Tester: Obama Admin NSA Spying Is ‘Overreach’

Montana Dem. breaks with party leadership, Obama admin on NSA program

• June 6, 2013 5:34 pm

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Sen. Jon Tester (D., Mont.) reiterated his opposition to the FISA court system and the court's ability to give the federal government "carte blanche" to collect data on domestic phone calls Thursday on MSNBC:

ANDREA MITCHELL: […] On Air Force One flying to North Carolina Josh Earnest, the deputy press secretary said that the FISA tool is a critical tool that the administration needs and as you may know that Dianne Feinstein was on the program earlier saying that this phone tracking is critical, Mike Rogers, the House Intelligence Chair, said that it actually prevented one domestic terror event. You have a different point of view or at least you did.

SEN. JON TESTER: I sure do. And I'll tell you civil liberties are incredibly important in this country and to have a FISA court basically give a perpetual court order to get telephone records, not only of foreign calls, but also domestic calls, I think goes against what this country is founded upon. And I think it's perfectly good information. But to give carte blanche across-the-board information on everything that happens is an overreach and overstep and I think we need to get information but it's got to be very targeted. That's certainly not what's happening right now at the NSA.

Tester's condemnation preceded a blistering New York Times editorial released this afternoon which said the Obama administration has "lost all credibility" following reports the NSA is collecting data on domestic phone calls.