London Guardian 
October 21, 2013
Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the US Senate committee charged with holding the intelligence establishment to account, declared on Monday that the National Security Agency’s mass collection of phone records is “not surveillance” and should be maintained as an essential tool to combat terrorism.
Feinstein made the case for retaining the program, which routinely collects and stores the phone records millions of Americans, in an op-ed for USA Today , in which she wrote that the NSA’s work had been “effective in helping to prevent terrorist plots against the US and our allies”.
Feinstein, a Democrat from California, is introducing legislation that would make superficial alterations to the NSA and the secret courts that are supposed to provide judicial oversight.
But her bill stops short of making any substantial changes to the way the agency conducts its work, despite the string of revelations based on disclosures by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden .