Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) : "NSA personnel know better than anyone that by far the greatest collector of data on ordinary Americans is not our government, but the private sector entities gathering personal data for marketing and commercial purposes. And the most malevolent threat for an individual American is not our government but the vast armies of hackers—many sponsored by foreign countries—who are constantly trying to steal our personal and financial information. Against these hackers, government is our defense."
"And yet, the plainly observable fact to anyone paying attention to the debate we are having in Congress, is that Americans have become more skeptical of government intelligence gathering, while at the same time they willingly accept that corporations learn virtually every detail of their lives... It is ironic that some of the loudest voices in the debate about surveillance reform are corporations that make billions of dollars mining the personal information of their customers. It is also ironic that those who guard our liberty are challenged in the name of liberty."