Ok, let's be clear about this. This "debate" is about what we suspect is still going on and about what Congress refuses to even ask of what is being done under FISA or the Patriot Act.
Most Americans including myself don't give a damn whether or not the Federal government is spying on the communications in and out of the US if it were actually being targeted at communications with terrorists, certain foreign institutions and foreign governments as part of legitimate national security and international criminal investigations... However the understanding of people that follow how this has been evolving is that this is merely a pretext for mass surveillance of internal communications and sending it over a wire to ease dropping facilities outside the US. Which would be blatantly a violation of the US Constitution if it were ever fully revealed... which is exactly the type of program that has been long rumored and based on leaks seems to have been what has been developed by US spy agencies.
And there are absolutely NO PROTECTIONS for preventing that or for Congress to even know if that is happening as they rubber stamp levels of spending on infrastructure that could and has been rumored to be doing exactly that.
At the very least the reporting requirements could be required to say how many "incidental" collections there are of Americans communications originating or terminating inside the US... I suspect that pretty much that number would be tens of millions of Americans or hundreds of millions of Americans which is exactly why Congress is afraid to ask because they know they would need to shut down mass surveillance if it were ever revealed to them.
For all the talk about how spying on Americans communications with foreigners is wrong... maybe it is. And I think it would be great if the world got together and really worked out how to prohibit mass surveillance in the rest of the world. Ultimately we should hope for a world were civil rights are respected around the world... but at the very least, here at home we need to step back from the police state mass surveillance infrastructure that has been built ready made for mass abuse and then start worrying about how this could infringe on Americans rights abroad.
To do that we need Congress to start by asking the question about how many Americans are having their communications hoovered up by mass surveillance under FISA orders.