New York, NY – Today, 23 good government groups sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice urging the Attorney General to make public any reports by the Department’s Inspector General regarding the collection of Americans’ telephone records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.
The Inspector General has previously reviewed and reported on the FBI’s activities under Section 215. Any discussion of the telephone collection program, however, was redacted from public reports because the program was classified. Now that the government has declassified the existence of the program and many details about it, there is no longer any justification for withholding the Inspector General’s conclusions from the public.
“The government cannot selectively declassify aspects of the program and then keep secret independent assessments of that program,” said Elizabeth Goitein, Co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice. “The American people deserve to know how agency watchdogs assessed the legitimacy and value of a program that collects millions of Americans’ phone records. Declassifying this information would bring sorely-needed transparency and objectivity to the public debate.”
To read the full letter, click here.
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