Rep. Vern Buchanan gets an 'A' for standing against NSA spying

July 1, 2014 

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Florida Congressional District 13 Rep. Vern Buchanan. FILE PHOTO-GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Twenty-one privacy groups put together the first annual, "Stand Against Spying," Congressional Scorecard, giving Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, an A grade for his actions in Congress to reform the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.

The 21 groups include the Sunlight Foundation, Reddit and Freedom of the Press Foundation. They graded each senator and House representative A through F on their actions of protecting American's privacy.

“We believe that people have a right to know whether their members of Congress are doing their jobs and helping to end mass spying,” the groups said on the website housing the scorecard. “Our scorecard shines a light on all members of Congress, allowing citizens of the Internet to see whether their elected representatives stand as champions or roadblocks to real surveillance reform.”

A release from Buchanan's office said the grade is due to a few of his actions to curtail the NSA's surveillance, including Buchanan’s support last month for an amendment in the 2015 Defense Appropriations bill to block the NSA from conducting warrantless searches of communications records. The amendment passed the House 293-123 and is going to the Senate for consideration.

Of 30 Florida representatives listed on the scorecard, 11 received As.

Last week, The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that police must obtain a warrant to search a suspect’s cell phone – a sweeping endorsement for privacy rights.

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