Sen. Wyden denounces bulk phone record collection at ASNE convention

From The Washington Post:  WASHINGTON — A senator who has been instrumental in the fight for open government warned Wednesday that the government’s practice of “vacuuming up the phone records of millions of law-abiding Americans” puts citizens’ privacy at risk.

During a panel sponsored by the American Society of News Editors, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said while the information collected by the National Security Agency involves phone numbers, location and time of the call, it might also contain vital personal details, such as relationships, medical issues, religious matters or political affiliations.


The Sunshine in Government Initiative, a group of nine media organizations including the ASNE, presented its annual award to Wyden for his work in stripping several provisions from the Fiscal Year 2012 Intelligence Authorization Act that would have significantly lessened reporters’ ability to access even unclassified information.