June 7, 2013

THE HILL: Obama sponsored bill that would have made Verizon order illegal.

President Obama co-sponsored legislation when he was a member of the Senate that would have banned the mass collection of phone records that his administration is now engaged in.

The SAFE Act, introduced by former Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), would have amended the Patriot Act to require that the government have “specific and articulable facts” to show that a person is an “agent of a foreign power” before seizing their phone records.

The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee in 2005, but never received a vote. It had 15 co-sponsors in all, including then-Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), who are now members of Obama’s Cabinet.

Experts said the bill that Obama supported in the Senate would have prohibited the sweeping surveillance that has come to light at the National Security Agency (NSA).

Well, sure, but there was a Republican in the White House then.

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