Senate Democrats Ron Wyden and Mark Udall wrote in a letter on Monday insisting that the National Security Agency provided inaccurate and misleading information to the American public and has continues to do so.
Wyden first brought attention to the letter by tweeting a link to it.
The senators pointed to a fact sheet that NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander distributed, asserting that the writings portray inaccurately how the U.S. government interpreted the Section 702 authority.
"In our judgment this inaccuracy is significant, as it portrays protections for Americans' privacy as being significantly stronger than they actually are," they wrote.
However, while the fact sheet has been made public, Wyden and Udall cannot specifically explain what statement their letter addresses. Because of formalities, lawmakers are forbidden to discuss clandestine operations, even with their constituents.
Both senators were extremely concerned about citizen privacy, claiming there was a wide gap between what Americans believe the Patriot Act allows and what the government secretly believes it allows.
They added that the government is certainly capable of pursuing terrorists and preventing espionage without compromising constitutional rights. Additionally, the senators said that discussions on privacy should be held for public debate and not in secret congressional hearings.
While Wyden and Udall have aggressively argued against the NSA’s continued actions, it seems a majority of congressional members believe it is in their constituents’ best interests.
“These are programs that have been authorized by broad bipartisan majorities repeatedly since 2006,” President Barack Obama said. “I think at the onset it is important to understand that your duly elected representatives have been consistently informed on exactly what we’re doing.”