Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee -- Reps. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and Bobby Scott, D-Va. -- appeared on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” Sunday to discuss National Security Agency surveillance programs and whether they invade the privacy of everyday American citizens.
Goodlatte said: “I think we need to have much stronger oversight to determine whether or not that is indeed the case. When it was made known, based on the leaks of Edward Snowden, the Judiciary Committee conducted a classified briefing for all of the members of the House. It was very clear then that many of them did not know about this program or how it worked.”
Goodlatte added that the Judiciary Committee intends to hold another classified hearing to “dig deeply into the questions of how much [the NSA surveillance programs cost], what evidence and information is being gathered, and how these programs need to be changed to comply with the law.”
As to whether congress members are getting the right information, Scott said: “Part of the problem is what they say they’re entitled to. You can’t believe all of the leaks. Just because something is leaked doesn’t mean it’s true.”
Regarding the use of the data gathered by the NSA surveillance programs, Scott said, “If you limit this discussion and you limit the use of [data gathered] to terrorism, you’d be having a different discussion than what you got now.”
According to Goodlatte, “I think the trust of the American people in their government is what’s at stake here.” And he criticized Washington’s handling of the situation, saying, “There has been, in my opninon, not a good leadership here, in terms of making the American people feel good about a intelligence organization which is necessary for the national security of the country, at the same time protecting American civil liberties.”
Watch the full interview in the video here.