Sen. Ron Wyden, Paly alumnus, to hold hearing on campus

Adele Bloch, Author

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U.S. Senator Ron Wyden gives a presentation titled "American Innovation & Your Privacy in a Digital World" at Tech Fest Northwest in Portland, Oregon in Aug. 2014. Photo by the Office of Senator Ron Wyden.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden gives a presentation titled “American Innovation and Your Privacy in a Digital World” at Tech Fest Northwest in Portland this August. Tomorrow, Wyden will hold a Chairman’s Roundtable titled “The Impact of Mass Surveillance on the Digital Economy” in the Big Gym of Palo Alto High School. Representatives from Google, Facebook, Dropbox, Grelock Partners and Microsoft will be a part of the discussion. Photo by the Office of Senator Ron Wyden.

United States Sen. Ron Wyden will hold a Chairman’s Roundtable to discuss “The Impact of Mass Surveillance on the Digital Economy” in his first public forum for a Silicon Valley audience at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the Big Gym at Palo Alto High School, his former high school.

Participants will discuss how government mass surveillance programs are challenging innovation and global competitiveness, as well as their effects on businesses and its technology sector.

“The economic impact [of mass surveillance] has gotten less attention, so that’s a really important topic that Wyden wants to give attention to,” Wyden’s spokesman Keith Chu said.

Wyden has advocated for the U.S. to take a leading role in ensuring the preservation of the Internet as an open platform for communication and commerce, according to the event details.

The individuals who will be present at the Chairman’s Roundtable discussion include: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Microsoft Brad Smith, General Counsel of Facebook Colin Stretch, General Counsel of Dropbox Ramsey Homsany and Partner of Greylock Partners John Lilly.

According to Wyden’s Website, Wyden served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 until his election into Senate, and he currently is the top ranking Democrat for the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, while also serving on the Committees of Finance, Budget and Intelligence.

The event will take place at Paly’s Big Gym where former Paly student Wyden, who graduated in late 1960, played basketball in high school.

While an RSVP is not necessary, it is strongly recommended to make one here. Paly students and the general public are all welcomed.

“As many students as possible would be great,” Chu said.