The House Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing next week on two of the NSA spying programs revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden that vacuum up domestic content despite being ostensibly targeted at foreigners: PRISM and Upstream.
But, to the great consternation of 26 government accountability groups who wrote an angry letter to committee leaders on Wednesday, the public is not invited. The entire hearing is classified, and closed.
Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008, which has been cited as the legal authority for those two programs, lapses next year.
The debate over whether to reauthorize it is expected to be the most substantive public examination of the NSA’s surveillance regime since Congress’s decision to end NSA’s collection of bulk metadata of U.S. phone calls.