Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy says the nation has reached a watershed moment in the public oversight of its intelligence agencies and the surveillance activities.
Leahy addressed a panel at Georgetown University Tuesday morning, discussing the revelations this summer that the government is secretly watching Americans' phone and internet activity.
Supporters say the actions are both necessary and legal. Leahy says what we've learned is that new technology means the country needs a new review of its intelligence oversight.
"I am convinced that the system set up in the 1970s to regulate the surveillance capabilities of our intelligence community is no longer working. We must recalibrate. First, we must address the scope of the government's national security surveillance powers, particularly when directed at Americans," said Leahy, D-Vermont.
Leahy says he's convinced that the bulk collection of Americans' phone records must be stopped because he says the government has not shown it's an effective tool for stopping terrorism.