December 15, 2011

Wyden Statement on Passage of the Intelligence Authorization Act

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement regarding the recent passage of the Intelligence Authorization Act:

“I’m pleased that the final version of the 2012 Intelligence Authorization Act does not include the multi-year extension of the FISA Amendments Act that was included in the Senate version of the bill.  I opposed the Senate version of the bill, and I announced a public hold on it, because I believe Congress has an obligation to get more information about the effects of this law before extending it for several more years.  The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 was intended to give the government new authorities to conduct surveillance of foreigners outside the United States, but right now nobody in government knows how many people inside the United States have had their communications collected and reviewed as a result of this law.  Congress will inevitably need to debate the reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act at some point during 2012, and when this debate occurs I plan to continue to press for more information about the impact that this law has had on the privacy of law-abiding American citizens.”  

Earlier this year, Wyden announced that he will object to any request to pass the Intelligence Authorization bill by unanimous consent due to the legislation’s inclusion of a three year extension of FISA Amendments Act (FAA) surveillance authorities.  The legislation now moves to the House for their consideration.