NYU Washington, DC and Just Security held a fireside chat on the current state of U.S. surveillance and a celebration of Jennifer Granick‘s new book, American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, And What to Do About It. Opening remarks were given by Senator Ron Wyden.
This event was approved for 1 CLE credit in the Areas of Professional Practice category.
Jennifer Stisa Granick is the Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. She is the author of a new book from Cambridge University Press entitled American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, and What To Do About It. From 2001 to 2007, Granick was Executive Director of CIS and taught Cyberlaw, Computer Crime Law, Internet intermediary liability, and Internet law and policy. From 2007 to 2010 she served as the Civil Liberties Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Granick practices, speaks, and writes about computer crime and security, electronic surveillance, security vulnerability disclosure, encryption policy, and the Fourth Amendment. In March of 2016, she received Duo Security’s Women in Security Academic Award for her expertise in the field as well as her direction and guidance for young women in the security industry. Before teaching at Stanford, Granick spent almost a decade practicing criminal defense law in California.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie Savage is a Washington correspondent for the New York Times. Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Savage graduated from Harvard College and earned a master’s degree from Yale Law School as part of a Knight Foundation journalism fellowship. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife, Luiza Ch. Savage, the editorial director of events for Politico, and their children, William and Peter Savage.
Savage has been covering post-9/11 issues — including national security, individual rights and the rule of law — since 2003, when he was a reporter for the Miami Herald. Later that year, he joined the Washington bureau of the Boston Globe; he then moved to the Washington bureau of the New York Times in 2008. He has also co-taught a seminar on national security and the Constitution at Georgetown University’s political science department.
Savage’s first book, Takeover, published in 2007, chronicles the Bush-Cheney administration’s efforts to expand presidential power. His second book, Power Wars, published in 2015, is an investigative history of national-security legal policy issues in the Obama administration.
His other journalism honors include the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award; the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation’s Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency; the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism; and the Constitution Project’s Award for Constitutional Commentary.
Whether he’s taking on powerful interests, listening to constituents at one of his famous town hall meetings or standing up for Oregonians on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Ron Wyden is an effective leader on the issues that matter most. As the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel recently put it: "He's best described as a wonk, a workhorse, a doer.”
Oregonians know Ron as a senator who listens. Always citing the need to “throw open the doors of government for Oregonians,” he holds an open-to-all town hall meeting in each of Oregon’s 36 counties each year. Thus far he has held more than 700 meetings. Wyden’s dedication to hearing all sides of an issue and looking for common sense, non-partisan solutions has won him trust on both sides of the aisle and put him at the heart of nearly every debate. In 2011, the Almanac of American Politics described Wyden as having “displayed a genius for coming up with sensible-sounding ideas no one else had thought of and making the counter-intuitive political alliances that prove helpful in passing bills.” The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein wrote: “The country has problems. And Ron Wyden has comprehensive, bipartisan proposals for fixing them.”
Wyden believes the nation’s biggest challenges can only be solved by what he calls “principled bipartisanship,” solutions that allow all parties to stay true to their respective principles and celebrate agreements. Following that approach has helped him author more than 150 bipartisan bills and assemble unprecedented bipartisan coalitions on issues such as health care, infrastructure and tax reform.
When principles are at stake, however, Wyden has never shied from standing alone, even when it means taking on powerful interest groups or his own party. His lone stand against the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and its predecessor, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeit Act (COICA), put a spotlight on the problematic legislation being fast tracked through Congress and served as a rallying point for the historic Internet protests that ultimately toppled the bills. He stood alone on the floor of the Senate to block right wing efforts to overturn Oregon’s Death with Dignity law; a law that Oregon voters have passed twice. He went head-to-head with the E.P.A. to reduce cancer-causing benzene in gasoline sold in Oregon, and key elements of Wyden’s Kinship Care Act were included as part of major reforms improving the nation’s foster care system. Wyden’s provisions recognized and strengthened support for kinship care, the full-time care and protection of children by relatives.
His relentless defiance of the national security community’s abuse of secrecy forced the declassification of the CIA Inspector General’s 9/11 report, shut down the controversial Total Information Awareness program and put a spotlight on both the Bush and Obama Administration’s reliance on “secret law.” To protect hard-working folks in the intelligence community and ensure informed public debate on national security issues, Wyden successfully fought to have controversial anti-leaks provisions removed from the latest intelligence authorization bill.
Wyden has taken the lead on policies that are helping to grow the economy in areas like improved infrastructure through his Build America Bonds program, micro and nano-technology, e-commerce, and through incentives for cleaner sources of energy.
He has won countless awards for his pioneering role in establishing a free and open Internet, is known for his commitment to an open government, having authored the “Stand By Your Ad” law and the resolution ending Senate Secret Holds, and he has been routinely recognized as one of the Senate’s foremost health policy thinkers.
In Oregon, Wyden has authored laws extending permanent Wilderness protections to more than 400,000 acres including Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, Oregon’s Bull Run Watershed, Badlands, Spring Basin, Copper Salmon and Soda Mountain. Since 2000, the Wyden-authored Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act, commonly known as the “county payments” law, has helped provide a stable source of revenue for historically timber-dependent communities and Wyden’s Combat Illegal Logging Act has helped protect Oregon’s hardwood industries from the import of illegally harvested timber products.
Wyden serves on the Committees on Finance, Budget, Intelligence, and Energy and Natural Resources. He is ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and the ranking Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Wyden began college at the University of California-Santa Barbara where he won a basketball scholarship and played in Division I competition for two seasons before transferring to Stanford University where he completed his Bachelors degree with distinction. He earned his law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1974, after which he taught gerontology and co-founded the Oregon chapter of the Gray Panthers, an advocacy group for the elderly. He also served as the director of Oregon Legal Services for the Elderly from 1977 to 1979 and was a member of the Oregon State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators during that same period. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 until his election to the U.S. Senate.
Senator Wyden’s home is in Portland; he is married to Nancy Wyden, whom he wed in September 2005. He has five children: Adam, Lilly, Ava, William and Scarlett.