Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement today after reports that the National Security Agency has carried out a sweeping collection of phone records of millions of customers who use Verizon as their cell phone service provider: 

“This indiscriminate data collection undermines the freedom its supporters claim to cherish.  While there are legitimate law enforcement uses for this data, the scope of the program is a serious case of mission creep and creates a very slippery slope.  Gathering this data just in case it contains something useful does not qualify as an urgent law enforcement exercise.

“Our citizens’ right to privacy is fundamental and non-negotiable. Domestic surveillance should only be conducted when there is an imminent need for information. The program we’re hearing about today seems not to respect that boundary. It should end.”

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