Despite seeing consequences faced by members of his campaign team who were caught up in the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program, President Donald Trump is pushing full steam ahead for the NSA wiretapping program’s renewal.
The warrantless search program, which lets the agency scarf up electronic communication sent from overseas, allows the NSA – which should stand for Nasty Spying Agency — to search the database for Americans who may have communicated with foreign targets. Trump is backing a clean renewal of the program even though his National Security Advisor for three weeks, Michael Flynn – and other members of his campaign team and his family – were caught up in the dragnet and unmasked by Barack Obama crony Susan Rice.
But votes for the draconian spying program aren’t there, so a compromise proposal that reforms the program is in the works. It was drafted by a bipartisan group of Judiciary Committee lawmakers led by chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia.
According to The Hill, Goodlatte’s proposal would place modest limits on the NSA by requiring officials investigating ordinary crimes to obtain a court order before viewing the content of any communications collected under that program, including those sent by Americans.
The legislation does not place the same limits on national security investigators, who are believed to use the database far more frequently.
But members of the House Freedom Caucus are squawking that the reforms don’t go far enough, while members of the Intelligence Committee say it sacrifices key national security powers.
Back in June, House Judiciary Committee member Representative Ted Poe (R-Texas) said he wouldn’t be surprised if the NSA was surveilling him and other members.
“The spying by our government on Americans cannot be tolerated, and it is being tolerated,” Poe, who voted in 2008 to extend the FISA program, told McClatchy news service. “Nothing would surprise me about what the NSA does. Unfortunately, they cannot be trusted.”
But other panel members disagree. “The provisions on querying the database could have an operational impact, so I think we should examine some changes to those provisions,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the Intelligence panel.
“We want law enforcement and the intelligence community to be able to make queries of the database in a way that protects the country,” Schiff continued. “If we’re concerned about this being turned into a grand database that can be used to prosecute people for unrelated things, then we ought to look more to excluding the use of the contents in non-national security cases, rather than preventing the searches from taking place.”
The NSA can scan and record every long-distance phone call, fax and email sent or received in the United States. In addition, all commercial financial transactions conducted through commercial financial institutions are recorded and open to scrutiny by the Feds.
That Trump wants to continue the program even though Flynn’s conversation with a Russian ambassador was captured through a “legal” use of it indicates to me that he (Trump) is firmly under the control of the Deep State.
There is no privacy in America as the Deep State scarfs up every bit of electronic communication transmitted anywhere. They tell us it is for our safety.
Of course, every nefarious thing the government goons do to us is done in the name of “safety” or “for the children. Yet all of that surveillance did not stop Stephen Paddock, San Bernardino or any of a host of other “terror” attacks.
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