December 18, 2015

Wyden Votes ‘No’ on Harmful Cyber Bill and Weakening Oversight of Surveillance Programs

Washington, D.C. –Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today voted against a legislative package containing a dangerous “cybersecurity” bill and provisions to undermine independent oversight of government surveillance programs.

Republican leaders inserted an extreme version of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) and the flawed 2016 Intelligence Authorization Act into a broader package of spending and tax bills. 

“These unacceptable surveillance provisions are a black mark on a worthy package that contains the biggest tax cut for working families in decades, an accomplishment I fought for in weeks of negotiations,” Wyden said.

“Unfortunately, this misguided cyber legislation does little to protect Americans’ security, and a great deal more to threaten our privacy than the flawed Senate version. Americans demand real solutions that will protect them from foreign hackers, not knee-jerk responses that allow companies to fork over huge amounts of their customers’ private data with only cursory review.

 “Ultimately, I cannot vote for this badly flawed CISA bill. The latest version of CISA is the worst one yet – it contains substantially fewer oversight and reporting provisions than the Senate version did.  That means that violations of Americans’ privacy will be more likely to go unnoticed. And the Intelligence Authorization bill strips authority from an important, independent watchdog on government surveillance, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. This will make it easier for intelligence agencies – particularly the CIA – to refuse to cooperate with the Board’s investigations. Reducing the amount of independent oversight and constricting the scope of the PCLOB’s authority sends the wrong message and will make our intelligence agencies less accountable.”