Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:
WVTI · WOXM · WVBA · WVNK · WVTQ · WVTX
WVPR · WRVT · WOXR · WNCH · WVPA
WVPS · WVXR · WETK · WVTB · WVER
WVER-FM · WVLR-FM · WBTN-FM

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact hello@vermontpublic.org or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Explore our coverage of government and politics.

Leahy Wants To Limit Federal Surveillance

Senator Patrick Leahy wants to limit the federal government’s ability to conduct surveillance activities on American citizens.

Earlier this month it was disclosed that the National Security Agency had tracked tens of millions of phone calls in an effort to link the calls to any suspected terrorist groups.

"This is an issue of saying we want to know what our government is doing and why." Senator Patrick Leahy

Leahy’s proposal would require the government to prove to a judge that the phone records it wants are relevant to a specific investigation by establishing probable cause.

Leahy has gathered a group of Republicans and Democrats to support his bill

“This is not a partisan issue this is an American issue,” said Leahy. “This is an issue of saying we want to know what our government is doing and why. As Americans we have the right to know what our government does and why,” said Leahy.

Leahy says his bill will not hinder legitimate investigations into suspected terrorist organizations.

“Just because we can out and gather all of this information on Americans often doing it secretly doesn’t mean we should,” said Leahy.  “Some of us enjoy or privacy. Some of us like to think we’re innocent unless proven guilty.”

Leahy’s amendment also places a sunset on all the provisions of the Patriot Act. He says this provision will require Congress to assess how surveillance gathering operations are working and if any changes need to be made.

Latest Stories