A federal court should oversee a National Security Agency program that collects phone-call information on millions of Americans, Sen. Sam Brownback said Wednesday.
Such supervision lets "the public know the law is being followed and complied with, not just on the word of any one administration," Brownback, R-Kan., said in a conference call with Kansas reporters.
Court oversight, he said, will secure public support for intelligence-gathering activities in the War on Terror.
"Intelligence is critical to us on the war on terrorism," said Brownback, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that may hold hearings on the calling-data program. "And it's critical for the United States to maintain public support for those intelligence operations."
Brownback's comments came a day after Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, announced that his entire committee would be informed about the NSA's activities. Previously, only a bipartisan handful of senators on the committee had been briefed.
In a press release, Roberts said the expanded briefing was necessary for confirmation hearings of Gen. Michael Hayden, nominee to direct the CIA. Hayden ran the NSA until last year.
"It became apparent that in order to have a fully informed confirmation hearing, all members of my committee needed to know the full width and breadth of the president's program," Roberts said in the statement.