Cooper's NSA Watchdog Put Into Law

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The key provision of Nashville Congressman Jim Cooper's NSA Internal Watchdog Act is now law, Cooper's office tells Pith.

The act replaces what Cooper has described as the toothless current arrangement — a staff-level inspector general tasked with oversight of the National Security Agency — with "an independent, Senate-confirmed watchdog."

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

Cooper spoke to Pith about the act when it was introduced in May (and discussed NSA-related issues more broadly in a wide-ranging interview with the Scene last year).

The watchdog provision makes its way into law just after the release of a new report stemming from Edward Snowden's NSA files showing that the NSA and FBI monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-American leaders. In a statement sent to Pith, Cooper says “a tough, independent inspector general at NSA will help prevent constitutional violations, like those alleged in the article.”

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