Director of National Intelligence James Clapper authorized the release of documents on “the collection of telephone metadata pursuant to Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act,” the DNI office said in a statement. “DNI Clapper has determined that the release of these documents is in the public interest.”
In related news:
Senator Leahy questions whether NSA surveillance ever thwarted Terrorists
A top senator said Wednesday that classified details of the recently revealed government collection of phone records showed little evidence that the program helped prevent dozens of terrorist attacks, as claimed by the head of the National Security Agency.
Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, opened a hearing on the surveillance programs revealed by classified leaker Edward Snowden by questioning the need and effectiveness of what is known as the Section 215 business records program.
“If this program is not effective, it has to end,” Leahy said, noting that a classified list of uses of the phone record program “does not reflect dozens or even several terrorist plots that Section 215 helped thwart or prevent, let alone 54 as some have suggested.”