Intelligence & National Security
Since becoming a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in 2001, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden has taken his oversight role extremely seriously. Believing that even secret programs are most effective when government is held accountable, he has worked to increase transparency and combat overclassification within the National Security Community. His oversight forestalled efforts to undermine the independence of the CIA Inspector General and his hold on the Fiscal Year 2011 Intelligence Authorization bill led to the removal of a provision that would have damaged protections for national security whistleblowers. He was instrumental in establishing the Public Interest Declassification Board to evaluate classification policy and decisions. He also forced the declassification of the CIA Inspector General’s 9/11 Report and helped pass legislation declassifying the total size of the of the national intelligence budget, making it possible for the public to better understand the nation’s overall investment in intelligence programs.
Wyden’s work has long focused on ensuring that national security programs fight terrorism ferociously while still upholding American values. He won the largest expansion of U.S. citizens’ privacy rights in 30 years when he successfully passed legislation in 2008 requiring the government to get a warrant before targeting Americans outside the U.S. for surveillance, and his amendment to the 2010 Intelligence Authorization bill increased criminal penalties for the unauthorized disclosure of a covert intelligence agent’s identity.
Wyden called for congressional investigation of torture allegations involving the CIA years before the scope of the Bush Administration’s coercive interrogation program was brought to light, and he led the successful effort to terminate the Bush Administration’s proposed “Total Information Awareness” program after he revealed plans to encourage gambling on future terrorist attacks. In 2008, Wyden exposed the Bush Administration’s secret interpretations of the Geneva Conventions in correspondence that ran on the front page of the New York Times, and his efforts to force the declassification of secret legal interpretations of the Patriot Act and the Executive Branch’s authority to kill Americans have brought the term “secret law” into common use.
Support Builds for Udall, Wyden Proposal to Limit the Federal Government's Ability to Collect Vast Amounts of Data on Americans
Senators Mark Udall and Ron Wyden, who serve on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said the bipartisan group of senators who joined their effort today to limit the federal government's ability to collect data on Americans without links to terrorism or espionage is a sig...…Read MorePosted on 06/18/13
Udall, Wyden Propose Limiting the Federal Government's Ability to Collect Vast Amounts of Data on Americans
Senators Mark Udall and Ron Wyden, who both serve on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, will introduce legislation that would limit the federal government's ability to collect data on Americans' without a demonstrated link to terrorism or espionage. Their legislation follows reports that the feder...…Read MorePosted on 06/14/13
Udall, Wyden Call On National Security Agency Director to Clarify Comments on Effectiveness of Phone Data Collection Program
Senators Mark Udall and Ron Wyden, who serve on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, called on Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, to clarify his statements that the surveillance programs disclosed through leaks over the past week have helped ave...…Read MorePosted on 06/13/13
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement regarding statements made by the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about co...…Read MorePosted on 06/11/13
Washington, DC - Today, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), accompanied by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dean Heller (R-NV), Mark Begich (D-AK), Al Franken (D-MN), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Ron Wyden (D-OR), introduced a bill that would put an end to the “se...…Read MorePosted on 06/11/13
U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) issued the following joint statement challenging claims that bulk phone record collection by the Intelligence Community has been “a critical tool in protecting the nation.” Wyden and...…Read MorePosted on 06/07/13
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), released this statement following news reports alleging that the U.S. Government has collected the phone records of millions of Verizon customers. Wyden is a senior member of the Senate Intelligence committee. “The pro...…Read MorePosted on 06/06/13