Trump, Hypocritically, Moves to Make Temporary Surveillance Powers Permanent

President Trump thinks surveillance is just “terrible.”

“You look at the extent of surveillance,” he laments. “Me and so many other people, it’s terrible.” 

Given these statements, and Vice President’s Pence’s assertion that the “American people have a right to know if there was surveillance of any private citizen in this country,” you would think that the Trump administration would want to get to the bottom of NSA reform. You would also think that they would demand that the NSA stop its warrantless spying on Americans and figure out how many Americans have been swept up in the agency’s dragnet.

But just this morning, the Trump administration doubled down on surveillance. 

Call for government surveillance reform

In an op-ed penned in The New York Times, the White House said it supports not just an extension but a permanent reauthorization of Section 702 — a surveillance authority that purports to authorize the surveillance of foreigners likely to communicate “foreign intelligence information” but actually surveils millions of Americans without a warrant.

After the op-ed was published, the new administration brazenly thumbed its nose at congressional overseers, Democrats and Republicans alike, reversing its commitment to provide Congress with an estimate of how many Americans have their information collected under Section 702. In a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats unequivocally stated that such information would not be forthcoming, providing no information on what has changed since last year when the intelligence agencies committed to providing it to Congress.

Congress should not take such disdain for its oversight role lightly, and we should not be fooled by the Trump administration’s justifications for its new position. Let’s start with the op-ed, authored by Thomas Bossert, a homeland security adviser to the president. The piece was riddled with errors and attempts to obfuscate.

Bossert fundamentally misconstrues the authority’s impact on Americans’ constitutional rights. One of his main contentions is that:

“…it does not permit the targeting of Americans. The authority expressly forbids intentional targeting of a United States person for surveillance.”

That might be comforting if it told the whole story about Section 702. The reality is that Section 702 was expressly designed to gather information about Americans. Indeed, Bossert admits that the existing law permits the FBI and other federal agencies to search through Section 702 information specifically looking for information about Americans. What he leaves out is that the FBI does this as a routine matter — no warrant or formal investigation required — in cases that have nothing to do with national security or terrorism. 

A declassified FISA court opinion from 2011 revealed that the government collected over 250 million internet communications alone under Section 702, the vast majority retained for five years by default. That means that the government likely retains over a billion communications under Section 702 at any given time — and there are estimates that roughly half of these files contain information about an American (which, again, are accessible to law enforcement agencies without a warrant). In light of this, Bossert’s claim that the authority is not about “targeting Americans” rings hollow.     

For further effect, he adds a whopper:

“Over nearly a decade of rigorous oversight, no intentional abuse of the Section 702 authority has ever been identified, and the government has quickly taken action to rectify unintentional mistakes.”

In fact, a litany of cases have revealed unlawful activity under Section 702. Just last month, a declassified opinion from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court revealed a series of violations in complying with the law, including unlawful searches of Americans’ information, improper sharing of information with third parties, and a failure to appropriately handle attorney-client communications. The court did not know about many of these problems for years due to what it referred to as an “institutional” lack of candor. 

Bossert’s claims are even more unbelievable given that he points to the executive branch’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board as a source of oversight. Currently, the PCLOB has no chair, lacks a quorum, and for all intents and purposes has lain dormant due to the failure of President Trump — and before him, Obama — to appoint nominees. 

The next exaggeration:

“…Section 702, allows a federal court to approve and supervise, under specific conditions, the collection of information on foreign persons, in foreign countries, who happen to use American communications services and internet technology.”

The reality is that federal court oversight of Section 702 bears no resemblance to the court oversight applied to criminal investigations or even other forms of surveillance. Under Section 702, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approves — in secret proceedings — the entire Section 702 program annually. The court never probes whether there is individual cause to surveil a specific person. This is akin to a judge signing off on thousands of wiretaps at once, based simply on an examination of the general procedures law enforcement commits to follow. 

Finally, Bossert tries to comfort the American people by suggesting that the Trump administration has voluntarily curbed its own surveillance activities.

“Under President Trump’s leadership, we have refined the application of this authority to target only those internet communications sent directly to or from a lawful foreign intelligence target. This smart choice will reduce incidental collection on Americans without sacrificing our security. We proposed, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved, the new procedures, which achieve this goal and protect Americans’ privacy.”

It is true that the intelligence agencies recently adopted a policy limiting their Section 702 Upstream program — in which the government taps into the internet backbone and combs through Americans’ internet traffic for information associated with over 100,000 targets. But what Bossert omits is even more important: The administration has expressly said that it retains the right to restart this program and continues to perform other collection under Upstream.

 We cannot rely on President Trump’s NSA to police itself. Members of Congress should reject attempts, such as those contained in Senator Cotton’s most recent bill, to extend or make Section 702 permanent. And we should all raise our voices in demanding meaningful Section 702 reform now.

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Anonymous

"A government that sacrifices freedom for safety has neither."

Kim

THE FACT IS: Innocent U.S. citizens are being used for non-consensual human experimentation and being used as guinea pigs for direct energy weapons testing. We are subjected to mind control tactics and our lives are being destroyed in every possible way as to keep us too sick, tired and financially broke to try to do anything about it!
The surveillance is a big component of this, and if this surveillance is shut down it will prevent all of these evil atrocities from occurring.
It is wrong anyways to spy on
innocent Americans and anyone who says this is not occurring is a liar!

Kim

I would also like to add, this is all being done under the guise of "National Security"

Anonymous

Amen Kim! You absolutely speak the truth! Everyone in Government should be made to endure the pain & suffering of DEW's, be the victims of organized stalking & harassment, constant surveillance and repeated through the walls, electromagnetic assaults on their bodies to understand people are dying of this!

Todd Giffen

you know the ACLU already knows the NSA space capability takes brain scans of us all through the roofs of our homes. they know the NSA computer systems have enough storage for brain scans of all the world's population. they know the satellites and sea/land based radar perform magnetic resonance imaging, electron spin resonance, nuclear magnetic resonance and other techniques to remote view us showing naked, having intercourse, and the like. our brain scans are decrypted to our memories, feelings, thoughts etc. as they can pinpoint our heart beats under the walls they use lasers to induce cancer, heart attack, strokes and stalk and harass those they wish to really feel afraid. yet the ACLU refuses to discuss this level of targeting in favor of covering it all up.

their lawyers favor jobs working in US DOJ, CIA, state and local governments for profit more than saving us all.

https://www.trumpsweapon.com/

Anonymous

LMFAO!

Todd Giffen

you know the ACLU already knows the NSA space capability takes brain scans of us all through the roofs of our homes. they know the NSA computer systems have enough storage for brain scans of all the world's population. they know the satellites and sea/land based radar perform magnetic resonance imaging, electron spin resonance, nuclear magnetic resonance and other techniques to remote view us showering naked, having intercourse, and the like. our brain scans are decrypted to our memories, feelings, thoughts etc. as they can pinpoint our heart beats under the walls they lock on with space based lasers to induce cancer, heart attack, strokes, voices in the brain, synthetic telepathy, bodily sensations, and stalk and harass those they wish to really feel afraid. yet the ACLU refuses to discuss this level of targeting in favor of covering it all up.

their lawyers favor jobs working in US DOJ, CIA, state and local governments for profit more than saving us all.

https://www.trumpsweapon.com/

Norman Rabin

For the ACLU:
Todd [Giffen], don't assume that the ACLU 'knows so much', or that's its motives are 'infiltrated'.
[ I think that the ACLU realizes that it is a natural target for subversion and influence, and that it should have internal safeguards, and internal 'demands for openness' from its employees (and members) to its 'few' decision makers, as to:
- 'Why doesn't the ACLU challenge this? [stage a: letters to other groups; and, FOIA/PA, other, Requests; stage b: letters/articles to USG, Press/Media; stage c: Court action;]
- 'Why doesn't the ACLU bring some attention to that?;
I hope that ACLU has an 'Internal Q and A Process' like that, so that subversion (and also, 'normal human limited perspective'] might be safeguarded against. ]
[ As a victim of over 26 years on Non-consensual, day and night, EM Signals monitoring and assault of my human body and brain, including well developed advanced thought monitoring [there are by now 500 to 2000+ U.S. victims!], despite my Complaining of it to US Gov't (and to orgs. such as ACLU), I believe that:]
The ACLU ought honestly to simply have, under its 'National Security' Sub-Issues/'Current Issues':
- "Involuntary Human Testing".
Electromagnetic signals monitoring and assault of the human body and brain, and (by now, later stage) testing of: EM signals mind control weapons, and EM signals assault weapons;, are only 'this year's' (or 'this decade's') non-consensual human testing, human rights, 'problem'.
The ACLU should take seriously the recommendations of the ACHRE [in their Oct. 1995 Final Report], that federal regulations need to explicitly prohibit classified human research without informed consent, with no exception possible], and should recall the remarks of (now late) then-Senator Glenn, in his introducing S.193 [105th Congress, Jan22, 1997], "Under current rule and executive order, it is possible to waive informed consent and IRB review for classified research."
I hope that the ACLU really DOES care, that even now, U.S. federal regulations together with U.S. Law still do not comply with the (1947) Nuremberg Code!, and the wider ICCPR [Human Rights Treaty] [U.N.1976; Adopted by U.S. 1992, but with various stated 'reservations', but with NO STATED RESERVATION to the Informed Consent part of its article 7;] [Article 7: No .. torture or .. cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation. ]
[ see: https://www.aclu.org/other/faq-covenant-civil-political-rights-iccpr ].
ACLU, the U.S. Public needs your help: to put "Informed Consent" among your "National Security" Issues; And even if the U.S. enacts the Nuremberg Code and ICCPR Informed Consent protections (including for Classified Human Testing), for ACLU to care about: 'the next new thing', beyond the public's ability to 'gather evidence' of it.'
- The law (and federal regulations) need to try to be 'a step ahead' of scientific possibility in protecting and safeguarding at least the most basic rights (to liberty [as widely defined]; and to security of one's person).

Todd Giffen

did you notice the bitch who wrote this article is a double agent with ties to the CIA, US DOJ, DHS, NSA, etc?

this women took part in targeting and covering it up and now works for the ACLU.

this is how thousands of complaints to the ACLU have been covered up by their double agent staff over the years and they have left us all to die.

former state employees are pieces of shit and have crimes for the state to hide including targeting, spying on and irradiating people.

https://www.trumpsweapon.com/

Eli Samuel Goldman

One of the things I find counter productive to dealing Mr unreality-TV Donald J Trump's camp and supporters is the constant setup of "straw man argument" scenarios. They create real life scenarios that are absolutely absurd and don't normally happen in life around those who oppose them (just as on reality TV shows) then discredit the very scenarios they created and thus discredit the People who honestly report them. They make fake anti-trump-lunatic websites, and have planted bizzarre theories posted (like that posted by Todd Griffin here) to seem similar and thereby deligitimize actual accounts of their tactics. ....When I spoke of the Attic it was at my former apartment in Claremore OK and they sent people to climb in an attic shared by six apartments to setup the cameras and audio so they could put me on the show without my knowledge or consent. They also broken the Attic doorframe with their bodyweight once, you could hear them up there banging loudly and the Trump's crew actors pretended there was no noise. One fell once with a loud bang from above (Richard D Harrington he said his name was) and came out later with a gash in his forehead. A guy I spoke to who worked in media with a truck license plate from Texas that read "tuna[something]" told me he got the nickname on his plate when he worked in college radio/ TV broadcasting and since he still works in broadcasting still has it. They put up satellite dishes above every apartment within a few days as they started setting up yet the tenants previously had no income to even pay their rent half the time and trimmed all the trees above the dishes all in this brief one week time frame. They replaced the front lamp with a blue light that flickers. And suddenly all the neighbors had plenty of money and new products they all couldn't afford. The show was broadcast from inside my apartment without my knowledge or consent and everyone who admitted there was a show refused to tell me details. I demanded informstion to take legal action and my drug dealing rapist white supremicist neighbor randal Wayne abney (also from Texas) constantly complained that I was being unreasonable because I'm "the star" but refused to tell me what show, what network, how I came to be ona show etc. Everyone in Claremore made comment everywhere I and my now ex fiancee went on what we did and said inside our apartment (blinds closed, door shut) truck and work...they even told me once that lots of stars are "eccentric" that I'm "not the only one." But no one would tell me what show or give me details on anything so I could take legal action against all the invasions of my rights. I kept trying to make people understand I'm not an actor, they just built a show around setting up insane unrealistic scenarios by invading and violating my rights and committing crimes against me and refuse to give me any information to keep me from taking legal action. The hypnosis thing had to do with a course I took in Vegas via distance education through HMI in Tarzana that was recommended by someone who later turned out to be a staunch Trump supporter. It turns out certain personality types and those who are sleep deprived are more susceptible to suggestion and verbal coersion in leading conversations. (Incidentally though I completed the certification course with near perfect scores and was promised more, they wiped all trace of my course compketion/certification and never honored the promise. Also, at Claremore Veteran Center the "residence" all had similar names (or were assigned names) that I recently discovered just happened to be similar to members of Trump's cabinet and associates...they also likened people and things I talked about in my life to people in what later became Trump's team, or Hillary's Team...so when I was manipulated into talking about my life they could edit it to seem like I'm supporting Trump and his associates and disbarraging or attacking Hillary's. They did/do the same with his policies. Then they simply abused, harassed cajoled or whatever they needed to elicit the responses, words and emotions they wanted. They still do this. They also run people and scenarios around me and in the background to make the show seem farsical to undermine and discredit any attempt I make to tell others...thus inducing disbelief.

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