You may be outraged, as much of the Internet is, at the existence of PRISM. Revealed Thursday, the surveillance program allows the NSA to track much of the Internet's activity.

We still don't know a lot of details about the program; all the explicit details come from five slides leaked to and published by the Guardian and the Washington Post. (They've not released the 36 other slides in their possession, citing national security concerns). Until then, PRISM was kept entirely secret from the public. But the law that allowed it was not. It just didn't get a lot of attention.

Both President Obama and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have stated that PRISM relies on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Created in 1978 and renewed every five years or so, FISA allows government agencies to track foreign communications with a secret court order. No warrant is necessary.

In 2008, Congress passed amendments to FISA that prevent those secret courts from even demanding probable cause for a surveillance request. The American Civil Liberties Union wrote at the time that the law "places no meaningful limits on the government’s retention and dissemination of information relating to U.S. citizens and residents."

In late 2012, despite the outcry of digital privacy and Fourth Amendment advocates, a bill to renew FISA for yet another five years passed the House of Representatives in September and the Senate in December. It was signed by President Obama on the evening of December 31, a Sunday.

The following are the members of Congress who voted to extend FISA, and by extension, enabled the PRISM program:

House (301 yeas)

Name State Party
Gary Ackerman N.Y. D
Sandy Adams Fla. R
Robert Aderholt Ala. R
Rodney Alexander La. R
Jason Altmire Pa. D
Mark Amodei Nev. R
Steve Austria Ohio R
Joe Baca Calif. D
Michele Bachmann Minn. R
Spencer Bachus Ala. R
Ron Barber Ariz. D
Lou Barletta Pa. R
John Barrow Ga. D
Roscoe Bartlett Md. R
Joe Barton Texas R
Charles Bass N.H. R
Dan Benishek Mich. R
Rick Berg N.D. R
Shelley Berkley Nev. D
Howard Berman Calif. D
Judy Biggert Ill. R
Brian Bilbray Calif. R
Gus Bilirakis Fla. R
Sanford Bishop Ga. D
Tim Bishop N.Y. D
Rob Bishop Utah R
Diane Black Tenn. R
Marsha Blackburn Tenn. R
Jo Bonner Ala. R
Mary Bono Mack Calif. R
Dan Boren Okla. D
Leonard Boswell Iowa D
Charles Boustany La. R
Kevin Brady Texas R
Mo Brooks Ala. R
Vern Buchanan Fla. R
Larry Bucshon IN R
Ann Marie Buerkle N.Y. R
Michael Burgess Texas R
Dan Burton IN R
Ken Calvert Calif. R
Dave Camp Mich. R
John Campbell Calif. R
Quico Canseco Texas R
Eric Cantor Va. R
Shelley Moore Capito W.Va. R
Russ Carnahan Mo. D
John Carter Texas R
Bill Cassidy La. R
Kathy Castor Fla. D
Steve Chabot Ohio R
Jason Chaffetz Utah R
Ben Chandler Ky. D
David Cicilline R.I. D
Jim Clyburn S.C. D
Howard Coble NC R
Mike Coffman Colo. R
Tom Cole Okla. R
Mike Conaway Texas R
Gerry Connolly Va. D
Jim Cooper Tenn. D
Jim Costa Calif. D
Chip Cravaack Minn. R
Rick Crawford Ark. R
Ander Crenshaw Fla. R
Mike Critz Pa. D
Henry Cuellar Texas D
John Culberson Texas R
Jeff Denham Calif. R
Charlie Dent Pa. R
Scott DesJarlais Tenn. R
Ted Deutch Fla. D
Mario Diaz-Balart Fla. R
Norm Dicks Wash. D
Bob Dold Ill. R
Joe Donnelly IN D
David Dreier Calif. R
Sean Duffy Wis. R
Sean Duncan Wis. R
Renee Ellmers NC R
Jo Ann Emerson Mo. R
Blake Farenthold Texas R
Chaka Fattah Pa. D
Stephen Fincher Tenn. R
Mike Fitzpatrick Pa. R
Jeff Flake Ariz. R
Chuck Fleischmann Tenn. R
John Fleming La. R
Bill Flores Texas R
Randy Forbes Va. R
Jeff Fortenberry Neb. R
Virginia Foxx NC R
Trent Franks Ariz. R
Rodney Frelinghuysen N.J. R
Elton Gallegly Calif. R
John Garamendi Calif. D
Cory Gardner Colo. R
Scott Garrett N.J. R
Jim Gerlach Pa. R
Bob Gibbs Ohio R
Phil Gingrey Ga. R
Louie Gohmert Texas R
Charlie Gonzalez Texas D
Bob Goodlatte Va. R
Paul Gosar Ariz. R
Trey Gowdy S.C. R
Kay Granger Texas R
Tom Graves Ga. R
Sam Graves Mo. R
Al Green Texas D
Gene Green Texas D
Tim Griffin Ark. R
Morgan Griffith Va. R
Michael Grimm N.Y. R
Frank Guinta N.H. R
Brett Guthrie Ky. R
Luis Gutierrez Ill. D
Ralph Hall Texas R
Colleen Hanabusa Hawaii D
Richard Hanna N.Y. R
Gregg Harper Miss. R
Andy Harris Md. R
Vicky Hartzler Mo. R
Doc Hastings Wash. R
Nan Hayworth N.Y. R
Joe Heck Nev. R
Martin Heinrich N.M. D
Jeb Hensarling Texas R
Jamie Herrera Beutler Wash. R
Brian Higgins N.Y. D
Jim Himes Conn. D
Ruben Hinojosa Texas D
Kathy Hochul N.Y. D
Tim Holden Pa. D
Steny Hoyer Md. D
Tim Huelskamp Kan. R
Bill Huizenga Mich. R
Randy Hultgren Ill. R
Duncan Hunter Calif. R
Robert Hurt Va. R
Darrell Issa Calif. R
Lynn Jenkins Kan. R
Bill Johnson Ohio R
Sam Johnson Texas R
Jim Jordan Ohio R
Marcy Kaptur Ohio D
Mike Kelly Pa. R
Steve King Iowa R
Peter King N.Y. R
Jack Kingston Ga. R
Adam Kinzinger Ill. R
Larry Kissell NC D
John Kline Minn. R
Raul Labrador Idaho R
Doug Lamborn Colo. R
Leonard Lance N.J. R
Jeff Landry La. R
James Langevin R.I. D
James Lankford Okla. R
Tom Latham Iowa R
Steven LaTourette Ohio R
Bob Latta Ohio R
Sander Levin Mich. D
Jerry Lewis Calif. R
Dan Lipinski Ill. D
Frank LoBiondo N.J. R
Dave Loebsack Iowa D
Billy Long Mo. R
Nita Lowey N.Y. D
Frank Lucas Okla. R
Blaine Luetkemeyer Mo. R
Ben Luján N.M. D
Cynthia Lummis Wyo. R
Dan Lungren Calif. R
Stephen Lynch Mass. D
Connie Mack Fla. R
Donald Manzullo Ill. R
Kenny Marchant Texas R
Tom Marino Pa. R
Jim Matheson Utah D
Kevin McCarthy Calif. R
Carolyn McCarthy N.Y. D
Mike McCaul Texas R
Patrick McHenry NC R
Mike McIntyre NC D
Buck McKeon Calif. R
David McKinley W.Va. R
Cathy McMorris Rodgers Wash. R
Jerry McNerney Calif. D
Pat Meehan Pa. R
John Mica Fla. R
Jeff Miller Fla. R
Candice Miller Mich. R
Brad Miller NC D
Gary Miller Calif. R
Mick Mulvaney S.C. R
Tim Murphy Pa. R
Sue Myrick NC R
Randy Neugebauer Texas R
Kristi Noem S.D. R
Rich Nugent Fla. R
Devin Nunes Calif. R
Alan Nunnelee Miss. R
Pete Olson Texas R
Steven Palazzo Miss. R
Erik Paulsen Minn. R
Steve Pearce N.M. R
Nancy Pelosi Calif. D
Mike Pence IN R
Ed Perlmutter Colo. D
Gary Peters Mich. D
Collin Peterson Minn. D
Tom Petri Wis. R
Joe Pitts Pa. R
Todd Platts Pa. R
Ted Poe Texas R
Mike Pompeo Kan. R
Bill Posey Fla. R
Tom Price Ga. R
Ben Quayle Ariz. R
Michael Quigley Ill. D
Nick Rahall W.Va. D
Tom Reed N.Y. R
Denny Rehberg MT R
Dave Reichert Wash. R
Jim Renacci Ohio R
Silvestre Reyes Texas D
Reid Ribble Wis. R
Cedric Richmond La. D
Scott Rigell Va. R
David Rivera Fla. R
Martha Roby Al R
Phil Roe Tenn. R
Mike Rogers Ala. R
Hal Rogers Ky. R
Mike Rogers Mich. R
Dana Rohrabacher Calif. R
Todd Rokita IN R
Tom Rooney Fla. R
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Fla. R
Peter Roskam Ill. R
Mike Ross Ark. D
Dennis Ross Fla. R
Steven Rothman N.J. D
Ed Royce Calif. R
Jon Runyan N.J. R
Dutch Ruppersberger Md. D
Tim Ryan Ohio D
Steve Scalise La. R
Adam Schiff Calif. D
Bobby Schilling Ill. R
Jean Schmidt Ohio R
Aaron Schock Ill. R
Allyson Schwartz Pa. D
David Schweikert Ariz. R
Tim Scott S.C. R
Austin Scott Ga. R
David Scott Ga. D
James Sensenbrenner Wis. R
Pete Sessions Texas R
Terri Sewell Ala. D
Brad Sherman Calif. D
John Shimkus Ill. R
Heath Shuler NC D
Bill Shuster Pa. R
Mike Simpson Idaho R
Albio Sires N.J. D
Adrian Smith Neb. R
Christopher Smith N.J. R
Lamar Smith Texas R
Adam Smith Wash. D
Steve Southerland Fla. R
Cliff Stearns Fla. R
Steve Stivers Ohio R
Marlin Stutzman IN R
John Sullivan Okla. R
Lee Terry Neb. R
Mike Thompson Calif. D
Glenn Thompson Pa. R
Mac Thornberry Texas R
Patrick Tiberi Ohio R
Scott Tipton Colo. R
Bob Turner N.Y. R
Michael Turner Ohio R
Fred Upton Mich. R
Tim Walberg Mich. R
Greg Walden Ore. R
Joe Walsh Ill. R
Daniel Webster Fla. R
Allen West Fla. R
Lynn Westmoreland Ga. R
Ed Whitfield Ky. R
Joe Wilson S.C. R
Rob Wittman Va. R
Frank Wolf Va. R
Steve Womack Ark. R
Rob Woodall Ark. R
John Yarmuth Ky. D
Kevin Yoder Kan. R
Bill Young Fla. R
Todd Young IN R

Senate (73 yeas)

Name State Party
Rodney Alexander Tenn. R
Kelly Ayotte N.H. R
John Barrasso Wyo. R
Michael Bennet Colo. D
Richard Blumenthal Conn. D
Roy Blunt Mo. R
John Boozman Ark. R
Scott Brown Mass. R
Richard Burr NC R
Ben Cardin Md. D
Tom Carper Del. D
Bob Casey Pa. D
Saxy Chambliss Ga. R
Dan Coats IN R
Tom Coburn Okla. R
Thad Cochran Miss. R
Susan Collins Maine R
Kent Conrad N.D. D
Bob Corker Tenn. R
John Cornyn Texas R
Mike Crapo Idaho R
Mike Enzi Wyo. R
Dianne Feinstein Calif. D
Kristen Gillibrand N.Y. D
Lindsey Graham S.C. R
Chuck Grassley Iowa R
Kay Hagan NC D
Orinn Hatch Utah R
Dean Heller Nev. R
John Hoeven N.D. R
Kay Bailey Hutchison Texas R
Jim Inhofe Okla. R
Johnny Isakson Ga. R
Mike Johanns Neb. R
Tim Johnson S.D. D
Ron Johnson Wis. R
John Kerry Mass. D
Amy Klobuchar Minn. D
Herb Kohl Wis. D
Jon Kyl Ariz. R
Mary Landrieu La. D
Carl Levin Mich. D
Joe Lieberman Conn. I
Richard Lugar IN R
Joe Manchin W.Va. D
John McCain Ariz. R
Claire McCaskill Mo. D
Mitch McConnell Ky. R
Barbara Mikulski Md. D
Jerry Moran Kan. R
Bill Nelson Fla. D
Ben Nelson Neb. D
Rob Portman Ohio R
Mark Pryor Ark. D
Jack Reed R.I. D
Harry Reid Nev. D
Jim Risch Idaho R
Pat Roberts Kan. R
Jay Rockefeller W.Va. D
Marco Rubio Fla. R
Chuck Schumer N.Y. D
Jeff Sessions Ala. R
Jeanne Shaheen N.H. D
Richard Shelby Ala. R
Olympia Snowe Maine R
Debbie Stabenow Mich. D
John Thune S.D. R
Pat Toomey Pa. R
David Vitter La. R
Mark Warner Va. D
Jim Webb Va. D
Sheldon Whitehouse R.I. D
Roger Wicker Miss. R

 

Photo via BCCHS Library. Remix by Fernando Alfonso III