Intelligent Discontent

Senator Tester Voted to Block PRISM—in 2008


One of the reasons I have so enthusiastically supported Senator Tester has been his consistent opposition to overreaching federal policies like the PATRIOT Act and FISA Amendments of 2008 Act. The latter was specifically identified by James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, as justification for the PRISM program, which allowed the NSA and FBI to tap “directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs.”

Back in 2008, Senator Tester voted against the FISA Amendments Act, just as he voted against extending the PATRIOT ACT. Representative Rehberg, along with almost the entire Republican House, voted for the bill.

It’s easy for politicians to decry the abuses of the NSA after they’ve been revealed, but we should credit Senator Tester for seeing the danger of NSA overreach five years ago. In fact, Tester was the sole Senator from the Rocky Mountain region to oppose the bill that year.

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