WASHINGTON The Republican Party on Friday condemned the National Security Agency's electronic surveillance program as a dragnet that violates the privacy rights of Americans and urged lawmakers to put a stop to it.
The vast collection of Americans' phone data revealed last year by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has drawn a firestorm of criticism, prompting President Barack Obama to introduce reforms last week.
The measures fell short of dismantling U.S. electronic spying programs, including the portion of the USA Patriot Act, the post-9/11 law passed during the administration of Republican President George W. Bush, that allows the surveillance program.
The Republican National Committee condemned the massive collection of Americans' personal data in a resolution passed at its annual meeting on Friday.
"Unwarranted government surveillance is an intrusion on basic human rights that threatens the very foundations of a democratic society and this program represents a gross infringement of the freedom of association and the right to privacy and goes far beyond even the permissive limits set by the Patriot Act," the resolution said.
The resolution urged Republican lawmakers to support legislation limiting the electronic surveillance program "to make it clear that blanket surveillance of the Internet activity, phone records and correspondence" in the United States is illegal.
(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and John Whitesides; Editing by Bill Trott and Meredith Mazzilli)
Trending On Reuters
India is reinvigorating an $18 billion campaign to provide fast internet connections for all, with a "digital week" aimed at popularising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's campaign promise to connect 250,000 villages in India by 2019. Full Article
India to provide roadmap for ending corporate tax exemptions in 45 days - official Full Article