Senator visits student journalists

Takaaki Sagawa, Author

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Senator Ron Wyden addresses relevant political issues for high school students including college affordability, the future of tech industry and climate change. Ron Wyden spoke preceding his roundtable discussion with tech leaders on 'Impact of Mass Surveillance in our Digital Economy'. Photo by Takaaki Sagawa

Sen. Ron Wyden addresses relevant political issues for high school students, including college affordability, the future of tech industry and climate change. Wyden spoke yesterday morning at the Media Arts Center, preceding his roundtable discussion with tech leaders on the ‘Impact of Mass Surveillance in our Digital Economy’. Photo by Aisha Chabane.

United States Senator and Palo Alto High School alumnus Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) informed Paly student journalists of the current political issues and its relevance as well as his memories from Paly.

The senator addressed the main topic of mass surveillance at 10 a.m. yesterday in the MAC, later to be discussed in the roundtable discussion with tech leaders.

“There’s been a tremendous amount of discussion about digital surveillance related to privacy, national security and those issues,” Wyden said. “But there has been virtually no discussion on digital surveillance as to what it’s doing to cutting-edge companies.”

Wyden elaborated on the topic, providing relevance from a perspective for the future generation.

“I think your generation understands the potential of digital goods and digital services for both the economy and quality of life and what it’s meant to your generation,” Wyden said. “And the thing is, the technology jobs pay good wages when arguably the premier economic issue of our time is wage growth.”

The reason for the selection of Paly’s Big Gym as the venue for the discussion became evident as Wyden recounted his favorite memories from Paly.

“A special Paly memory was this basketball game in the winter of 1967 when the gym had to be locked because there were so many people,” Wyden said. “The sidelines were three or four people deep, and Paly beat Sequoia [High School]. … But I remember so many wonderful memories. I guess Peninsula Creamery is still around – my favorite place. … I was also voted most fun to be with in the Madrono.”

Click on a topic of the conference below to listen to the recordings from the conference.

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