Republican Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss says surveillance is an old story.
Chambliss told reporters that the program has been going on for seven years under the auspices of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He said he was not aware of a single citizen filing a complaint about it.
He and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the panel’s chairwoman, also gave a defense of the program. “There have been approximately 100 plots and also arrests made since 2009 by the FBI,” Feinstein said. “I do not know to what extent metadata was used or if it was used, but I do know this, gentlemen, that terrorists will come after us if they can, and the only thing we have to deter this is good intelligence.”
Feinstein and Chambliss circulated a Feb. 8, 2011, letter, which both signed, inviting colleagues to read a classified report detailing the electronic surveillance authority granted by the Patriot Act and the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004.