Great Falls Tribune: Tester pushes bill on surveillance: NSA under fire for secret record stash

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana is among a bipartisan group of eight senators who say the government should have to declassify information explaining why it has the right to spy on Americans.

The group has introduced legislation to do that in response to news reports that the National Security Agency conducted a secret surveillance program on Americans’ telephone and Internet records.

The legislation would require, for the first time, a public airing of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions regarding the Patriot Act, which the government says gave it the right to conduct the surveillance program.

“We must find the right balance between protecting our nation and protecting the civil liberties that make America the greatest country in the world,” Tester said in a news release.