By Dan Carden
U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Indianapolis, believes the attorney general should be required to disclose decisions of the secret court that has authorized federal agencies to collect and analyze the telephone and Internet records of all Americans.
The Munster native, whose Congressional district includes Newton and Jasper counties, filed legislation Thursday dubbed the Ending Secret Law Act that would compel release of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rulings unless it undermines national security.
"This legislation affirms that Americans have a right to know the assumptions and legal interpretations that are guiding our national security decisions," Rokita said. "Just as importantly, it provides that information to the public in a way that does not compromise specific security techniques."
Rokita has strongly criticized recently leaked National Security Agency surveillance programs, calling them a violation of Americans' Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches.
He said his legislation, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., would help correct that by ensuring "Congress and the American people exercise proper oversight, while still enabling us to do everything possible within the bounds of the Constitution to protect ourselves from those who would harm us."
A Senate version of the proposal is awaiting action by the Judiciary Committee.