NSA Critic Ron Wyden Commends ‘Milestone’ In Surveillance Reform

Vocal National Security Agency critic Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR offered full-throated praise for the changes to NSA surveillance programs announced by President Barack Obama on Friday.

In a joint statement with fellow Senate Intelligence Committee members and privacy advocates Mark Udall (D-CO) and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Wyden commended the President for proposing changes to the NSA’s phone records collection program in particular. He and Udall had proposed a bill last year to curtail the agency’s authority to collect that data.

“After the long push to rein in overbroad surveillance powers, we are very pleased that the President announced his intent to end the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records,” the senators said. “Ending this dragnet collection will go a long way toward restoring Americans’ constitutional rights and rebuilding the public’s trust. Make no mistake, this is a major milestone in our longstanding efforts to reform the National Security Agency’s bulk collection program.”

The senators added that they would push for additional reforms they believe are necessary, including reforming the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court process and ensuring the government doesn’t read emails or other communications without a warrant.

“The groundswell of public support that has built for these reforms over the past several months shows that the American public shares our view of the importance of reining in overbroad and unnecessary surveillance powers that infringe on Americans’ constitutional rights,” the senators concluded. Today’s announcement is vindication of that activism and we look forward to working with the President and our colleagues to push forward on these reforms in the weeks and months ahead.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: