January 13, 2017

Wyden Praises Removal of “Browser Spying” and Restrictions on Privacy Watchdog from Intelligence Authorization Act

 Washington, D.C. – Sen. Wyden, D-Ore., succeeded in removing two problematic provisions from the 2017 Intelligence Authorization Act, which was voted out of the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday.

The first would have given the government access to Americans’ browsing history, email records and other digital records without so much as a court order. The second provision would have limited the jurisdiction of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Wyden blocked the bill from advancing last year over the provisions.

 “I fought to remove these extremely troubling and unnecessary provisions from this authorization bill, and I’m glad the committee agreed,” Wyden said. “Spying on a person’s browsing history is incredibly invasive – almost like a window into their thoughts. Furthermore, this change would have done nothing to make Americans safer, since the government can already obtain these records with a court order. Additionally, I’m glad my colleagues agreed to drop a provision that would have tied the hands of an important independent privacy watchdog at a time when independent oversight is more important than ever.”