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Expert: cell phone record surveillance needed to combat terrorism

ALBANY -- A Capital Region expert on Homeland Security says the surveillance of cell phone records is key in protecting Americans against terrorism.

Rick Mathews, Director of the National Center for Security and Preparedness at UAlbany, said Friday he believes the most recent reports of cell phone records and emails being handed over to the government are making news because they were leaked.

This activity is nothing new and government agencies have to jump through hoops to make it happen, Mathews said trying to ease the concerns of critics.

"There has to be a reason, there has to be cause for that," said Mathews. "It has to go before a judge a special appointed judge who looks at these kinds of things."

Mathews says he understands the public's criticism and concerns but adds if Americans want to be safe from terrorists this type of surveillance must occur. There is no such thing as 100% safety and 100% privacy, added Mathews.

On Friday President Obama informed the nation that this activity was not only run by congress but they approved.

Representative Paul Tonko, D- Amsterdam, said he will be questioning the recent move by the National Security Administration.

"We will go through the appropriate agencies and committees where we will review any of this information and I am certain there will be fine tuning that will address the situation into the future," said Tonko.
 

 

 
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