House wants “briefing as soon as possible” to grok how Yahoo spied
Letter: “it is our responsibility to have accurate information.”
On Friday, dozens of members of Congress wrote an open letter to the attorney general and the director of National Intelligence. In it, they requested a briefing regarding the recent Reuters story that Yahoo complied with a secret court order to search all of its customers’ e-mail.
There is significant confusion regarding the existence and nature of the program described by these reports and the legal questions implicated by the accuracy of specific details... As legislators, it is our responsibility to have accurate information about the intelligence activities conducted by the federal government. Accordingly, we request information and a briefing as soon as possible for all members of Congress to resolve the issues raised by these reports.
Previously, one of the lead co-signers of the letter, Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat who represents a portion of Los Angeles County, told Ars that this type of forced government request was "flat out unconstitutional." He also told us:
The continuing revelation of our law enforcement and these agencies violating the Constitution shows that there is a breakdown in oversight. The [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] has shown repeatedly that they do not have the ability to protect the Constitution or the rights of Americans, we need another system—thank God we have freedom of the press.