Franken renews push for more data on NSA surveillance; hearings set

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U.S. Sen. Al Franken has revived a bill that would make intelligence agencies reveal more about their surveillance of Americans.

MPR reports a subcommittee Franken chairs will hold hearings next week on the bill sponsored by the Minnesota Democrat and a Republican colleague from Nevada, Sen. Dean Heller.

Supporters have named the measure the Surveillance Transparency Act. MPR says it's a response to concerns about the National Security Agency's collection of phone and email records.

Franken and Heller first unveiled the bill this past summer but announced Wednesday they've reintroduced it with some changes and scheduled the hearings to begin on Nov. 13. Franken says dozens of Internet companies and advocacy groups have written to Washington demanding more disclosure about surveillance programs.

The bill would require agencies including the NSA to file reports showing how often they've requested the records of American citizens from Internet and telecommunications companies. Franken says the data would help Americans "decide for themselves whether the government is giving due weight to both privacy and national security."

The bill was endorsed in September by a group of technology companies including Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Apple, as well as several civil liberties groups.

Here is the text of the bill.

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