Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) spoke to reporters and students after his event Wednesday at his alma mater, Palo Alto High School.

Cyrus Farivar

PALO ALTO, CA—Speaking at the gym at the high school where he used to play basketball in the 1960s, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) gave a dire warning to a group of students and locals on Wednesday about the effects of government spying on Silicon Valley: “There is a clear and present danger to the Internet economy.”
The Oregon senator led a roundtable discussion on the “Impact of Mass Surveillance on the Digital Economy” with representatives from major Silicon Valley firms, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Dropbox. Wyden, a longstanding critic of the National Security Agency (NSA) and United States government’s policy on digital surveillance, made the case that active spying hurts the American economy.
“The NSA ran an expensive and invasive bulk e-mail records collection program for years, and it turned out to be worthless,” he said. “And its bulk phone records collection program is still up and running now, even though the President’s own surveillance review group has indicated that it is not necessary or effective.”
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