April 04, 2016

Wyden, Heinrich Praise CIA Decision to Drop Email Destruction Proposal

CIA plan would have allowed destruction of most of the agency’s email records; Wyden and Heinrich asked CIA to withdraw the proposal in 2014

Washington, D.C. – Senate Intelligence Committee members Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., praised the CIA’s decision to drop a proposal to destroy the vast majority of its emails, rather than archive them like other government agencies.

 Wyden and Heinrich issued a joint statement commending the CIA’s decision to drop the plan: “Given the grave importance of CIA operations, it is critical to preserve the agency’s emails, to enable independent oversight and an accurate historical record. Sensitive sources and methods should remain secret, but preserving records, including emails, is necessary for strong oversight of our intelligence agencies.”

 Wyden and Heinrich, with former Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., urged the CIA to abandon its plan in a November 2014 letter. They argued that important information about the CIA’s actions and decision-making is often contained only in email records, and that other intelligence agencies would seek to follow the CIA’s lead if the plan went into effect.