All blog posts created by Legislative Team
  • Amendments offered to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012

    UPDATE: Wyden Statement on Vote Against Cloture of the Cybersecurity Act

    GPS Act

    Press Release Text of Amendment | U.S News and World Report Op-Ed

    U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) teamed up to write the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance (GPS) Act, which is now being offered as an amendment to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012.

    Currently, laws pertaining to geolocation tracking have not kept pace with technology.  Judges in different jurisdictions have issued conflicting rulings about what procedures law enforcement must follow – and how much evidence is necessary – to obtain individuals’ geolocation data from private companies.  This lack of clarity creates problems for law enforcement agencies and private companies, as well as uncertainty for customers. 

    The bipartisan legislation creates a legal framework designed to give government agencies, commercial entities and private citizens clear guidelines for when and how geolocation information can be accessed and used. 

    The GPS Act requires government agencies to get a probable cause warrant to obtain geolocation information in the same way that they currently get warrants for wiretaps or other types of electronic surveillance. It also requires private companies to get customer consent before sharing their customers’ information outside the normal course of business, and outlaws “cyber-stalking” by making it a crime to secretly track someone’s movements electronically

    Click here for more information on the GPS Act

    “Stay Off My Cloud” Amendment

    Press Release | Text of Amendment

    Stay Off My Cloud puts in place several privacy protections to ensure that the government stays off your personal cloud.

    Many private companies contract with government agencies to provide information services to “continuously monitor” their networks and report to the federal government agencies in “real time or near real time” cyber incidents that jeopardize the “integrity, confidentiality, or availability of information or an information system.”

    The amendment makes it clear that service providers need only provide information about cybersecurity incidents if they pose a threat to the government’s information. Importantly, with respect to continuous monitoring and reporting requirements, operators of government information are allowed to use processes that will protect the privacy of individual or non-government, customer specific data.  

    Stay Off My Cloud prohibits individuals’ private data from being accessed by the government solely because it’s stored by a company who provides information services to a government agency.

    No Binding International Cyber Treaties without Senate Approval Amendment

    Press Release | Text of Amendment

    Title VI of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 calls upon the Secretary of State to “develop and lead Federal Government efforts to engage with other countries to advance the cyberspace objectives of the United States, including efforts to bolster an international framework of cyber norms, governance and deterrence.”

    The administration had used similar language found in the Pro IP Act of 2008 to justify entering into binding international agreements on intellectual property as part of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement without the advice and consent of the Senate. This amendment makes it clear that nothing in the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 shall be construed to enable the president to enter the U.S. into a binding international agreement on cybersecurity without the advice and consent of the Senate. 

  • Standing Up for Seniors, Wyden Outlines Medicare Reform Principles

    As the Senate debated various budget proposals this week, Senator Wyden cut through the rhetoric fueled by ideology and stood up – once again – for America’s most vulnerable.

    Citing his own experience working for Oregon’s elderly, Senator Wyden rallied to defend Meals on Wheels, the home-delivery food program that is a lifeline for so many of our seniors. In the state of Oregon, nearly 52,000 seniors rely on these hot, nutritious meals. The fact that these meals are delivered by thousands of generous volunteers provides these older folks regular contact with someone who cares.  Some of these budgets would have cut Meals on Wheels funding anywhere from 17-59%, a staggering amount considering the great impact the program has on the lives of tens of thousands – an even greater impact given the financial hardship of the Americans it serves. 

    As Congress tackles the various challenges of increasing federal commitments, however, the future of Medicare is front and center.  Wyden spoke plainly stating, “We are going to have…for the next 20 years, 10,000 seniors turning 65 every single day….If nothing is done, the Medicare guarantee is in peril.”  Senator Wyden believes doing nothing is not an option and instead laid out principles that he feels must be included to achieve meaningful Medicare Reform, including:

    1. Preserving Traditional Medicare
    2. Protection for the sickest & most vulnerable (meaning, among other things, Medicaid may not be block-granted)
    3. Strong, comprehensive consumer protections
    4. Maintain Medicare’s purchasing power so that competition between government and private sector innovation can make each other better

    Finally, as in every major reform Senator Wyden has spearheaded, any effort at Medicare Reform must be bipartisan. Protecting the Medicare Guarantee is too important to let partisan politics get in the way.

    Watch highlights of Senator Wyden’s speech:

    Learn more about Wyden’s bipartisan Medicare reform proposal with Representative Paul Ryan:

  • Have you been targeted by a Pension Poacher? Tell us your Aid and Attendance story.

    As a life-long advocate for seniors, and a passionate supporter of veterans, veteran’s rights, and veteran’s programs, there are few things that upset Senator Wyden more than individuals and groups who use the promise of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits to mislead and even steal from America’s elderly veterans.

    Recently, he has been looking into the VA’s enhanced pension with Aid and Attendance, commonly referred to as “Aid and Attendance.”  While this program meets real needs of financially burdened vets who need help in their daily lives, Senator Wyden is deeply troubled by the emergence of predatory organizations that are providing false, misleading, or incomplete information to veterans.  Many of these companies have names and logos that seem to affiliate them with the VA and claim to want to help veterans, but in many cases are only interested in lining their own pockets.

    Our office is gathering information on these deplorable practices, but we need your help.  Have you, a friend, or family member had an experience regarding Aid and Attendance?  In the comments section below, please tell us your story.  Senator Wyden may share some of these experiences in the Senate.

    Have you been targeted by a Pension Poacher? Tell us your Aid and Attendance story.

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