"These are the handful of members of Congress who tried very hard and did ... as many of the things that were in their power to fight back against the uses of FISA," says Elizabeth Goitein, the co-director of the Liberty and National Security program at the Brennan Center for Justice. "We owe them a debt of gratitude, but Congress is a body that operates by majority votes."
But while public outrage on both the left and the right is mounting, Goitein says she's unsure if it will be enough to foster any serious political action.
"I wish it could galvanize and motivate political discourse and I hope it does," Goitein says. "But I think the administration and those in Congress who support the programs have been very persuasive that the program is essential for national security."