Wyden votes no on surveillance legislation

Says current practice infringes on Americans' rights

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POSTED: 8:13 PM PDT October 31, 2013    UPDATED: 11:29 PM PDT October 31, 2013 
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
WASHINGTON -

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement on legislation reported Thursday 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.