Gary Hart, Walter Mondale Register Objections to NSA Surveillance

Say FISA was meant to restrict spying, not increase it


Two former senators who crafted the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act want to join in the fight against the National Security Agency's spying powers.

The so-called Church Committee, which published 14 reports on U.S. intelligence agencies and their operations, formed as members of Congress learned about the abuses of power in the Nixon administration.

With an 11-member panel comprised of six Democrats and five Republicans, the committee recommended the creation of a secret tribunal in a room of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, tasked with overseeing the spying powers of intelligence agencies.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), as it came to be known, has become pilloried as a rubber-stamp for broad spying on U.S. citizens following NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden's disclosure of a top-secret court order forcing Verizon to "turn over, every day, metadata about the calls made by each of its subscribers over the three-month period ending on July 19, 2013."