Wikimedia As more and more has come out about the scope of American surveillance programs, lawmakers are realizing that they don’t know very much about what exactly is going on. In a new letter published Monday, the eight members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have written to the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community calling for a “comprehensive review” of law enforcement and intelligence agencies’ practices. In light of what the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has called “substantial misrepresentations,” the senators hope to shed some light on this dark part of American surveillance capability.

The letter specifically refers to the two pillars of the government’s strategy, Section 215 of the Patriot Act and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Section 215 is the provision that gives the government the authority to demand domestic “business records,” including call metadata and other records from Verizon and likely other telcos. Section 702, meanwhile, describes the rules for targeting non-Americans outside the United States.     

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