In his public reaction to President Obama’s speech at the Department of Justice on January 17, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said that the president’s comments about safeguarding personal privacy “go too far,” and that “keeping our people safe is our foremost goal.”
A member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Rubio issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s speech, which outlined a series of reforms to intelligence collection procedures.
“Our intelligence collection programs are vital tools used by the government to defend the security of the U.S. homeland,” said the Florida Republican. “I am concerned that some of President Obama’s suggestions today go too far and may make it more difficult for the government to carry out its constitutional responsibility to keep Americans safe.
“The collection programs we have in place are legally authorized and receive robust oversight from the Congress as well as the judiciary,” Rubio continued. “Over the past several months, we’ve had a vigorous debate following the damaging leaks that revealed the existence of many programs President Obama discussed today.”
Rubio made clear that he places a very high priority on maintaining the tools and techniques necessary to allow the Intelligence Community to gather and analyze large amounts of data.
“In this ongoing war against terrorism, the vital work of the men and women of the intelligence community is our front line of defense,” he declared. “We need to ensure that those who work in the intelligence community have the tools they need to piece together information in order to defend our nation as well as our allies.”