Key Part of Cooper NSA Bill Becomes Law

Jul 8, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper announced this week that a major provision of his NSA Internal Watchdog Act is set to become law.

The provision corrects a longtime problem with the National Security Agency’s bureaucracy. It replaces the agency’s weak, staff-level inspector general with an independent, Senate-confirmed watchdog.

The change helps assure the public that privacy is appropriately protected while maintaining the tools our intelligence and law enforcement agencies need to keep America secure.

“Americans want stronger protection of Constitutional rights, and now the NSA has a real watchdog with teeth,” Cooper said. “We need to do more to ensure our privacy isn’t compromised, but this is an important step.”

Cooper, with U.S. Reps. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Jim Himes (D-CT), introduced the bipartisan NSA Internal Watchdog Act on May 1. Cooper worked to include a version of his bill in the House-passed Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015, which authorized funding for the 16 components of the Intelligence Community and for national security programs.

In the final bill that passed the House and Senate, lawmakers included a key provision of the NSA Internal Watchdog Act that installs an independent and Senate-confirmed inspector general. The bill awaits President Obama’s signature.