Rep. Schiff Statement on Reports of an Internal Audit of NSA Surveillance Programs

Washington, DC – Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), a senior member of the Intelligence Committee, released the following statement after reports were released of an internal National Security Administration (NSA) audit of its surveillance programs:

"The latest report speaks, once again, to the need to strengthen the oversight of our intelligence operations. The intelligence community is populated with thousands of dedicated professionals, but some amount of human error is inevitable, and mistakes need to be reported immediately and clearly to independent overseers on the FISA Court and in Congress. Judge Walton, presiding judge of the FISC, is quite correct in his statement that the Court is reliant on the intelligence agencies to self-report instances of noncompliance with FISA Court orders. To a considerable degree this is true of the Congress as well, which suffers from a tremendous mismatch of resources compared to the agencies.

"Unlike other oversight committees which benefit from public scrutiny and reporting on government operations, the Intelligence Committee operates largely in secret.  For this reason and others, FISA court opinions and the operations conducted pursuant to them should be declassified to the maximum degree consistent with national security. And to help ensure our privacy and the legality of intelligence gathering programs, the Administration and Congress should create an independent, adversarial voice within the FISC."