April 04, 2015

Wyden: Cyber Bill Allows Massive Increase in Government Surveillance, Fails on Security

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today reiterated his concerns about a cybersecurity bill that would create new ways for the government to comb through Americans’ private information without a warrant, without addressing the real threats to U.S. networks

“Any information-sharing legislation that lacks adequate privacy protections is not simply a cybersecurity bill, but a surveillance bill by another name,” Wyden said, in dissenting views on the bill released today. “I opposed this bill because I believe its insufficient privacy protections will lead to large amounts of personal information being shared with the government even when that information is not needed for cybersecurity.”

Wyden was the only member of the Senate Intelligence Committee to vote against the bill.

During the Intelligence Committee markup last month, Wyden offered an amendment to ban mandatory government backdoors into Americans’ electronics. The amendment failed, on a 3-12 vote.

“I am disappointed that the committee did not adopt stronger privacy protections in this legislation, and I am also disappointed that my amendment to prohibit government agencies from requiring U.S. hardware and software companies to build weaknesses into their products was not adopted.  I have introduced this amendment as stand-alone legislation and will continue to pursue this goal,” Wyden said.

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