Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden says a declassified report from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court will help him pass reform legislation that protects Americans' privacy rights.
In the 29-page opinion, federal judge Claire Eagan said that the program that allowed the government to collect phone data on millions of Americans was lawful.
Eagan said a provision under the Patriot Act gives the government the authority to collect phone records it deems relevant to an investigation.
Wyden says the court's broad interpretation of the word "relevant" has rendered the government's surveillance authority limitless.
"And I don't know anybody in Oregon who previously read the plain wording of the Patriot Act and thought it included what we've come to see over the last couple of months, which is you could collect millions and millions of phone records on law-abiding Americans," Wyden says.
Wyden says he expects to introduce legislation to overhaul government data collection programs in the coming weeks.
This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.