Feinstein: Bulk Phone Data Should Not Be Stored With Third Party

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Sunday said she believes that phone records collected by the National Security Agency should not be held by a third party, which President Obama is considering.

“The whole purpose of this program is to provide instantaneous information to be able to disrupt any plot that may be taking place,” she said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” arguing that the NSA needs quick access to records in order to prevent terrorist attacks.

Feinstein said that many who are concerned with privacy issues with the bulk data collection program don’t understand how much of a threat there is to the United States.

“I think a lot of the privacy people perhaps don’t understand that we still occupy the role of the Great Satan. New bombs are being devised, new terrorists are emerging, new groups, actually a new level of viciousness,” she said. “And I think we need to be prepared. We need to do it in a way that respects people’s privacy rights.”

The senator echoed her counterpart in the House, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), and emphasized that the NSA did not abuse its access to phone records.

“It has not been abused or misused,” she said of the surveillance program.