October 31, 2013

Wyden Statement on Vote in Opposition to Intelligence Committee’s FISA Legislation

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement on legislation reported today by the Intelligence Committee.  

“More and more Americans are saying that they refuse to give up their constitutionally guaranteed liberties for the appearance of security: the Intelligence committee has passed a bill that ignores this message.   It maintains business as usual instead of ending the bulk collection of Americans’ personal records, closing the back-door searches loophole that allows intelligence agencies to search for Americans’ communications without a warrant, ending the government’s reliance on secret surveillance law, and ensuring that courts can adequately review these authorities and the actions taken under them.  I advocated for these principles in the Intelligence Committee, but unfortunately the bill reported today remains far from anything that could be considered meaningful reform.  

Instead, the Senate Intelligence Committee approved a bill that would codify overbroad surveillance practices that infringe on the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans without making America any safer.  I voted against this legislation in committee, and I will strenuously oppose any similar attempts to codify overreaching government surveillance."