Latest Ron Wyden News

FILE - In this Wednesday, March 18, 2020 file photo, Visitors to the Department of Labor are turned away at the door by personnel due to closures over coronavirus concerns in New York. Americans are seeking unemployment benefits at unprecedented levels due to the coronavirus, but many are finding more frustration than relief. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

State unemployment systems tested by surge of applicants

Apr. 4, 2020 9:11 AM EDT

Americans are seeking unemployment benefits at unprecedented levels due to the coronavirus, but many are finding more frustration than relief. State websites and phone lines across the country have been overwhelmed with applicants — causing sites to crash, phone lines to ring busy and much-needed payments...

FILE - In this May 17, 2016, file photo, ballots are prepared for counting at Multnomah County election headquarters in Portland, Ore. The coronavirus has knocked presidential primaries back several weeks as officials worry about voters crowding into polling places. If the disease remains a hazard in November, Democrats say there's only one solution to preserve the November election, national voting by mail. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

How will we vote? Outbreak revives debate on mail-in ballots

Mar. 31, 2020 9:16 AM EDT

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — As the coronavirus pandemic knocks primary election after primary election off schedule, Democrats argue the outbreak shows the country needs to move toward one of their longtime goals — widespread voting by mail — to protect the November election. But Democrats' hopes...

FILE -- In this March 10, 2020 file photo, a woman wearing a face mask checks her phone as she walks at the Naviglio Grande canal in Milan, Italy. Across Europe, governments are increasingly using surveillance to try to curtail the lethal spread of the new coronavirus, tracking people’s movements with aggregated cell phone location data and introducing apps to keep the infected quarantined. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Europe eyes smartphone location data to stem virus spread

Mar. 24, 2020 1:20 PM EDT

The Czech Republic has become the first European country to announce plans to deploy a powerful but potentially intrusive location-tracking tool for fighting the coronavirus pandemic, as others consider similar moves bound to put public health in conflict with individual privacy. The effort announced Tuesday by...

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walk to attend a Republican policy lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

McConnell unveils economic rescue plan amid virus shutdown

Mar. 19, 2020 9:26 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled a sweeping economic rescue plan Thursday to pump $1,200 direct checks to taxpayers, $300 billion for small businesses to keep idled workers on payroll and $208 billion in loans to airlines and other industries. It's the initial Republican...

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. walks to the Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Senate votes to extend, not tweak, 3 surveillance powers

Mar. 17, 2020 7:17 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Senate has voted to extend, rather than tweak, three surveillance powers that federal law enforcement officials use to fight terrorists, passing the bill back to an absent House and throwing the future of the authorities in doubt. The 75-day extension pushes off the debate over...

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., walks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

US surveillance powers set to temporarily expire

Mar. 12, 2020 8:50 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three surveillance powers available to the U.S. government are set to temporarily expire Sunday after a trio of senators opposed a bipartisan House bill that would renew the authorities and impose new restrictions. The Senate will consider the House bill next week, after a delay, but it...

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., walks to a meeting with House Democrats on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

House votes to tighten oversight of federal surveillance

Mar. 11, 2020 6:05 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has taken a first step toward addressing errors made by the FBI during its investigation of the Trump campaign and Russia, with the House passing legislation Wednesday that would impose new restrictions on the federal government's surveillance tools. The legislation is a...

President Donald Trump holds up an $8.3 billion bill to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., Friday, March 6, 2020 at the White House in Washington after signing, as Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, looks on.  The legislation provides federal public health agencies with money for vaccines, tests and potential treatments and helps state and local governments prepare and respond to the threat. The rapid spread of the virus has rocked financial markets, interrupted travel and threatens to affect everyday life in the United States.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

As coronavirus spreads, Medicare gets telemedicine option

Mar. 6, 2020 5:03 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The coronavirus legislation signed by President Donald Trump on Friday lets Medicare expand the use of telemedicine in outbreak areas, potentially reducing infection risks for vulnerable seniors. Coverage of telemedicine is now limited primarily to residents of rural areas facing long...

FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2020, file photo, people look at a display at the CES tech show in Las Vegas. U.S. senators are scrutinizing a facial recognition software company over privacy concerns and the possible sale of its services to authoritarian regimes. New York-based startup Clearview AI has drawn attention following investigative reports about its practice of harvesting billions of photos from social media and other services to identify people. Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, sent a letter to the company Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Senators scrutinize web-scraping facial recognition startup

Mar. 3, 2020 5:54 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. senators are scrutinizing a facial recognition software company over privacy concerns and the possible sale of its services to authoritarian regimes. New York-based startup Clearview AI has drawn attention following investigative reports about its practice of harvesting billions of...

FILE - This June 19, 2015, file photo, shows the Federal Communications Commission building in Washington. The Federal Communications Commission on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, is proposing about $200 million in fines combined for the four major U.S. phone companies for improperly disclosing customers' real-time location. Location data makes it possible to identify the whereabouts of nearly any phone in the U.S.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

FCC proposes fines for phone companies that shared user data

Feb. 28, 2020 3:35 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. regulators have proposed fining the four major U.S. phone companies more than $200 million combined for improperly disclosing customers' real-time location to other companies. The proposed fines by the Federal Communications Commission amounted to $91 million for T-Mobile, $57 million...