June 22, 2013 | By rainey Reitman

Pelosi Faces Questions, Criticism about NSA Surveillance at Netroots Nation

Updated June 23, 2013 with links to video and additional photos.

At the Netroots Nation conference this weekend, Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was questioned publicly about her stance on NSA spying. While she was quick to defend the program as markedly different from the warrantless wiretapping program established under President Bush, she also noted that more needed to be done to improve transparency around the program.

Pelosi’s comments were met with skepticism and disapproval from at least some members of the audience. Marc Perkel, a small business owner and technology activist, interrupted Pelosi when she was talking about finding a balance between security and civil liberties. According to Politico, Marc Perkel yelled, "It’s not a balance. It’s not constitutional!...No secret laws!"

Perkel urged Pelosi to "Talk to your sys admin" – a comment he later clarified as a push for Pelosi to better understand the technology behind the NSA’s surveillance.

Perkel was escorted out of the luncheon amid cries from other conference goers to "Let him stay."

Pelosi assured the audience she welcomed the debate and spoke warmly of several bills in Congress that are a response to the NSA surveillance programs. She also stated that she had reason to believe that President Obama would be making an announcement about the FISA court order in the next few days. Her comments on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden violating the law were met with boos from the crowd.

Below, find pictures from the event. You can see watch the entire speech here, discussion of NSA spying begins at 44:00.

EFF is urging individuals to speak out against NSA spying by signing the StopWatching.us petition and (most importantly) calling members of Congress.

Photo by Steve Rhodes

Photo by Nancy Mancias

Marc Perkel at Netroots Nation, photo by Susie Kameny

Photo by Steve Rhodes

Photo by Steve Rhodes

Photo by Steve Rhodes

Photo by Urvi Nagrani

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May 22 @ 10:58pm

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