Sen. Wyden Calls for Surveillance Policy Shift

"If you would defend a society built on the principle of individual liberty, you need to recognize that you can no longer rely on the fact that mass surveillance is hard - folks, in the 21st century, mass surveillance is easy,"


Americans are guaranteed the right to be secure in their paper correspondence, but online communication enjoys no such protection.

That's because the Fourth Amendment requires police to obtain warrants to search houses, papers, property and your pockets. But information sent and received online goes through a third party, and anyone with a compelling government interest has a much easier time getting their hands on it.

In a speech Friday at a Portland tech conference, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden will call for that to change. The Oregon Democrat wants to update the rules by which intelligence agencies operate. He says he also plans new legislation aimed at ending bulk electronic surveillance.