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.
Posted on 12/17/13
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement regarding the U.S. District Court’s ruling on bulk collection of phone records. “Judge Leon’...…Read MorePosted on 12/16/13
Udall, Wyden, Heinrich Urge Solicitor General to Set Record Straight on Misrepresentations to U.S. Supreme Court in Clapper v. Amnesty
WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) urged U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli today to answer a series of questions regarding statements and oral arguments the government made to the U.S. Supreme Court. Statements made in the recent case Cla...…Read MorePosted on 11/21/13
WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), members of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, today challenged the effectiveness of the National Security Agency's bulk phone records collection program. The senators' amicus curiae brief, filed...…Read MorePosted on 11/19/13
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) – a senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a leader of the surveillance reform movement -- issued the following statement in support of the USA FREEDOM Act introduced by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Lea...…Read MorePosted on 11/05/13
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement on legislation reported today by the Intelligence Committee. “More and more A...…Read MorePosted on 10/31/13
Posted on 10/26/13