Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) issued the following statement regarding the U.S. District Court’s ruling on bulk collection of phone records.
“Judge Leon’s ruling hits the nail on the head. It makes clear that bulk phone records collection is intrusive digital surveillance and not simply inoffensive data collection as some have said. The court noted that this metadata can be used for ‘repetitive, surreptitious surveillance of a citizen’s private goings on,’ that creates a mosaic of personal information and is likely unconstitutional. This ruling dismisses the use of an outdated Supreme Court decision affecting rotary phones as a defense for the technologically advanced collection of millions of Americans’ records. It clearly underscores the need to adopt meaningful surveillance reforms that prohibit the bulk collection of Americans’ records.
“Significantly, the judge also noted that he had ‘serious doubts about the efficacy of the program.’ The reason that he and many others have these doubts is that the executive branch’s claims about this program’s effectiveness are now crumbling under public scrutiny. Protecting the country from terrorism is obviously vitally important but the government can do this without collecting the phone records of massive numbers of law-abiding men, women and children.”