California Congressional Candidates Slug it Out Over NSA and CISPA

East Bay Express has an interesting article on a California Congressional race where votes for the National Security Agency's budget and the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) are taking center stage. Eric Swalwell (pictured, left), the current U.S. Representative of California's 15th District (D), is taking heat from his opponent Democratic State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett.

Corbett has brought up in the last several months of campaigning the fact that Swalwell voted favorably for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) in April of last year. Swalwell has repeatedly sidestepped questions over his vote and is focusing on his July 2013 vote to cut funding for the NSA's warrantless dragnet cellphone metadata collection program.

"There was one vote on the NSA spying program, just one vote in the Congress," Swalwell said during a candidate's forum April 24 in Fremont, "and that vote was to defund the program and I voted to defund the program."

"There's a reason I did that, and it wasn't easy because I was a prosecutor and for seven years I used cellphone data to prove many of my cases," Swalwell continued, "but in each and every one of those cases I had to go to a judge and I had to get a warrant — I had to show probable cause that I could go in and invade the privacy of the person whose cell phone record I was seeking to use."

But in the same forum, Corbett continued to bring up CISPA.

"The role of Congress is to protect citizens and, again, one of our most important, precious things is our personal privacy. It is Congress' role to ensure an agency such as the NSA performs the role it was set up to do, not unduly intrude upon the privacy of individuals." When it came to CISPA, Corbett later added, "one member of the California delegation voted for that measure," that person being Swalwell.

Both are competing against each other in a June Democratic primary, along with a line-up of other candidates for the congressional seat.

You can check the detailed history of both candidates and the extensive report on this campaign here.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone