Houston Chronicle


The fight is not over to limit the National Security Agencyís controversial collection of ordinary Americansí telephone calling data as part of the campaign to intercept potential terroristsí communications.


Texas Congressman Ted Poe, a former criminal court judge in Houstonís Harris County, is vowing follow-on attempts to restrict the program.


ìI suspect there will be more legislation offered to rein in NSA abuses of the section of the Patriot Act that NSA claims permits collection of these records,î says Poe, a Republican from Humble. ìThere are several of us who are not through with this fight.î


Poe was among the 14 Texans who voted in the House last night to halt NSAís authority to gather telephone calling records. Twenty-two other Texans voted to protect continued collection by the NSA.


Lawmakers favoring continuation of the program narrowly beat back an effort to set limits on a vote of 217 to 205.


ìThe problem with the NSA is that it is using the dragnet approach,î Poe said. ìItís like police searching every house on the block to find a bad guy instead of getting a warrant from a judge to search a specific house. The NSA is using a dragnet approach to try to catch a few terrorists.î


Texans who voted to continue NSA surveillance ìwill have to justify it to their constituents,î Poe said. ìThe people I represent are in favor of protecting the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable search and seizure and they expect me to protect that right.î