Murkowski Votes For Greater Scrutiny of Government Surveillance

Citing Reports of Illegal Monitoring of Americans, Senator Votes Against Five-Year Extension of Intelligence Gathering

Senator Lisa Murkowski today voted against final passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Authorization (FISA) Extension bill H.R. 5949, which would extend for five years the ability of federal intelligence agencies to engage in warrantless wiretapping practices.

Murkowski’s long-standing and deep-seated concerns about unchecked government encroachment have gained urgency lately, with the possibility of U.S. citizens being wiretapped during surveillance of international calls.  Despite her vote against the measure and bipartisan opposition, the bill passed 73-23 and heads to the President’s desk.

“Giving up some privacy for some security has never made Alaskans comfortable,” said Murkowski.  “I voted against this bill because it would simply lock us into the status quo for five more years, and ignore concerns that the existing law is insufficiently protecting Americans’ communications privacy right now.”

Since entering the U.S. Senate, Senator Murkowski has been a strong supporter of Americans’ constitutionally-protected privacy rights against government intrusions like those found within the PATRIOT Act.