NSA spying critics to appear before Senate Judiciary on Wednesday

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Critics of the National Security Agency’s blanket surveillance program are scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday during a panel following the testimony of senior members of the U.S. intelligence community.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday at 9 a.m. examining the strengthening of privacy rights and national security.

Among the witnesses scheduled to speak is James G. Carr, senior judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, who served on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court between 2002 and 2008.

Carr recently penned an op-ed for The New York Times stating that the FISA Court — criticized for acting as a “rubber stamp” process for the U.S. Intelligence community — was in need of serious reform.

The American Civil Liberties Union will also represented at the hearing by Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director for the ACLU. Stewart Baker, partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, will also testify.

Senior members of the U.S. intelligence community scheduled to speak before the committee include Deputy Attorney General James Cole, Deputy NSA Director John C. Inglis, General Counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Robert S. Litt, and FBI Deputy Director Sean M. Joyce are all expected to make an appearance.

Members of the House were expected to conduct a separate informal hearing on the same day, during which they would also hear from critics of the program, including journalist Glenn Greenwald, who would testify via video conference.

Politico reported Tuesday afternoon, however, that the hearing was canceled due to President Barack Obama scheduling a meeting with the House Democrats.

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