Obama Expands Surveillance Powers on His Way Out

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The first Executive Order Trump should abolish.

By Kate Tummarello, Electronic Frontier Foundation:

With mere days left before President-elect Donald Trump takes the White House, President Barack Obama’s administration just finalized rules to make it easier for the nation’s intelligence agencies to share unfiltered information about innocent people.

New rules issued by the Obama administration under Executive Order 12333 will let the NSA—which collects information under that authority with little oversight, transparency, or concern for privacy—share the raw streams of communications it intercepts directly with agencies including the FBI, the DEA, and the Department of Homeland Security, according to a report today by the New York Times.

That’s a huge and troubling shift in the way those intelligence agencies receive information collected by the NSA. Domestic agencies like the FBI are subject to more privacy protections, including warrant requirements. Previously, the NSA shared data with these agencies only after it had screened the data, filtering out unnecessary personal information, including about innocent people whose communications were swept up the NSA’s massive surveillance operations.

As the New York Times put it, with the new rules, the government claims to be “reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people.”

Under the new, relaxed rules, there are still conditions that need to be met before the NSA will grant domestic intelligence analysts access to the raw streams of data it collects. And analysts can only search that raw data for information about Americans for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, not domestic criminal cases.

However—and this is especially troubling—“if analysts stumble across evidence that an American has committed any crime, they will send it to the Justice Department,” the Times wrote.  So information that was collected without a warrant—or indeed any involvement by a court at all—for foreign intelligence purposes with little to no privacy protections, can be accessed raw and unfiltered by domestic law enforcement agencies to prosecute Americans with no involvement in threats to national security.

We had hoped for more. In November, we and other civil liberties and privacy groups sent a letter to President Obama asking him to improve transparency and accountability, especially around government surveillance, before he leaves office. This is not the transparency we were hoping for.

We asked that he declassify and release Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions, shed some much-needed light on how certain foreign-facing surveillance programs are used to target Americans, and more.

Obviously, and not for the first time, we are disappointed in the Obama administration.

In his finals days in office, let the president know about your disappointment in the government surveillance infrastructure he’s bulking up before he hands the reins to Trump. By Kate Tummarello, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Also by the Electronic Frontier Foundation: read and gnash your teeth…  With Windows 10, Microsoft Blatantly Disregards User Choice and Privacy




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  57 comments for “Obama Expands Surveillance Powers on His Way Out

  1. Greatful again
    Jan 13, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Oh great. A political piece. Let the name calling an accusations begin. As if this place wasn’t already headed that way enough.

    • Corrian
      Jan 13, 2017 at 11:19 am

      I second “Greatful’s” sentiment. I come to this site (and love it) for its thoughtful economic analysis, and the equally well-considered comments.

      There are plenty of other sites I visit when I’m looking for partisan politics. Wolf, please stick with what you’re really good at. Don’t let this site sink below the waterline and just become more of the political noise.

      • polecat
        Jan 13, 2017 at 11:47 am

        Concern-troll elsewhere …. it’s a big internet !

      • RDE
        Jan 15, 2017 at 9:40 am

        Politics is just business (economics) by other means.

    • Jan 13, 2017 at 11:24 am

      Criminalizing — or investigating for “criminality” Americans’ private behavior, and communications, is not “political” .

      You won’t think so when your friends or family are caught in a grand sweep. And interrogated, and imprisoned, and dealing with asset forfeiture as well.

      One could recommend reading Solzhenitsyn as an antidote to thinking such sweeps are harmless. Especially the Gulag series.

      SnowieGeorgie

    • RD Blakeslee
      Jan 13, 2017 at 11:28 am

      In addition to the fundamental privacy problems associated with providing the executive agencies with this information, there is the problem of what their bureaucracies do with it.

      Most recently, the “leaks” of unsubstantiated “compromising” material re Trump’s private life.

    • Jan 13, 2017 at 11:31 am

      I have long been posting articles about the expansion of government and corporate surveillance, and I will continue to do so. It’s one of the big issues of our times. This piece is one more. It shows how even a liberal President has consistently disappointed those who want to curtail government surveillance. And Congress – no matter who’s in charge – has done much to increases the surveillance power of the government and little to curtail it.

      • Petunia
        Jan 13, 2017 at 11:38 am

        Wolf,

        You are right to have this discussion because it is really more about money, than it is about security.

        • Jan 13, 2017 at 11:52 am

          Well said. Financial security, economic freedom and personal privacy — each are basic to Americans’ rights, and are all facets of the same diamond ( I could not say sides of the same coin as coins only have two sides )

          SnowieGeorgie

      • Kent
        Jan 13, 2017 at 12:20 pm

        “It shows how even a liberal President has consistently disappointed those who want to curtail government surveillance.”

        I think over the years, the MSM has done a good job of conflating “liberal” with leftist. At least in the US, liberalism has always been pro-capitalism, pro-war, pro-big business. The difference between liberalism and conservatism is that liberalism uses the welfare state to ameliorate the dynamics of a market economy on the poor, where conservatives would use the policing power of the state.

        The confusion is between liberalism and progressivism, where progressivism elevates the rights of the individual above the desires of capital, and is generally opposed to militarism and seeks to restrain the market through government control.

        Obama is a classic liberal (I consider Trump to be one too) but certainly not a progressive. Bernie Sanders is a classic progressive. Reagan would be a more classic, modern conservative. Jmho.

        • bill
          Jan 15, 2017 at 6:49 pm

          I think that you’re conflating ‘liberal’ with ‘neoliberal’.

        • Robert
          Jan 15, 2017 at 7:48 pm

          “Obama is a classic liberal ” Classic liberal, my eye. Obama is a statist and a corporate tool through and through. Above all, he is a practical joker with a nasty sense of humor- the Nobel Peace Prize winner who assasinates thousands using drones, and even the occasional American citizen,despite bragging about being an expert on Constitutional law, which prohibits forfeiture of life, liberty or property without due process. Throughout American history, “liberals “were closely associated with defense of civil liberty- the Bill of Rights-,(the liberal arts are those fields of study fomerly reserved for free men) and Obama is anything but.
          Let us pray that when it comes to the Constitution, Donald Trump takes his oath to support and defend it more seriously.

      • Niko
        Jan 13, 2017 at 12:37 pm

        I agree with Petunia and SnowieGeorgie, besides it’s your blog and you can write about whatever you want!

      • Lee
        Jan 13, 2017 at 5:22 pm

        Over time the three letter agencies with help from administrations of both parties have increased their ability to collect information on citizens of the USA. Freedom of American citizens has greatly diminished over time.

        One can only wonder why they “need” this information. Add in the war on cash and you have an America that less free and with fewer rights than anytime in history.

        Totally despicable and disgusting.

        As a person with experience working with people from these agencies I have real doubts about their ability to use the information to safeguard Americans.

        From previous contact and interaction with people from these agencies I consider many of them to have been inept, stupid, and totally incompetent. I really doubt that has changed over the past 30 years.

        No wonder America suffered some the worst domestic terrorist incidents over that period of time.

        It is also no wonder that the USA has been involved in stupid, poorly run activities in the Middle East as well.

      • NotMyPresident
        Jan 13, 2017 at 6:10 pm

        I consider myself a social (and sometimes fiscal) liberal. That having been said, I’m really not in favor of Macarthy-ism version 2.0, assisted by our e-connected world.

        As Benjamin Franklin once said:

        “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

      • John
        Jan 13, 2017 at 11:41 pm

        I am grateful for the insight and discussion. Keep it up wolf

      • MP
        Jan 14, 2017 at 1:49 pm

        Thanks, Wolf!

      • Jan 14, 2017 at 4:56 pm

        Thanks Wolf!

    • d
      Jan 14, 2017 at 7:34 am

      Perhaps its an information piece.??????

      The Majority around here are well informed, even if they are unrealistic.

      Or hold very Different points of view.

      Do you have a social media account??

      Many here DON’T as that stuff goes everywhere and everybody keeps it.

      Dont want information about you intercepted.

      Dont use a medium that could allow that to happen. Simple.

  2. Petunia
    Jan 13, 2017 at 11:35 am

    As an American I find all this surveillance repulsive. My revulsion is not just on constitutional grounds, but more because it doesn’t work. The more gossip and nonsense they archive the less useful these databases become. It is nothing but a make work program for silicon valley, and we all know how much they respect our privacy.

    Next time I make an overseas call, I’ll be sure to mention that a certain person who posts on this site, wears Victoria’s Secret under his overalls. It will be in his permanent record forever.

    • polecat
      Jan 13, 2017 at 11:50 am

      I wear the frilly ones ….. ‘;]

      • d
        Jan 14, 2017 at 7:38 am

        √ +

    • d
      Jan 14, 2017 at 7:37 am

      So the state cant skim it, but fang can then sell it ????

      Dont want information about you intercepted.

      Dont use a medium that could allow that to happen. Simple.

      So you have a telephone #, that has you name attached to it.

      How quaint.

  3. 91B20 1st Cav (AUS)
    Jan 13, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Thank you, Wolf, this is indeed a huge issue, perhaps the greatest, and it overrides whatever bubble one chooses to live in in this country (i.e.: economics, sports, entertainment, put yours in here…). I have watched in growing horror, protesting to my elected representatives through this administration and the last, about warrantless surveillance and suspension of habeaus corpus through implementation of the Patriot Act. My sad realization is that it now appears the belief of a majority of my fellow citizens is that they can be made safe from an enemy willing to die for their beliefs while no longer accepting that they may have to do the same to preserve theirs, i.e.: by giving up a keystone of what has made their nation one of the world’s greatest, if only for a very short term in history (and this does not mean ‘made safe’ by only the U.S. military members, past and present, who man-and-woman the front lines). I would hope that a majority of readers here are familiar with Benjamin Franklin’s observation (I paraphrase): “…those who would exchange essential liberty for security deserve neither liberty or security…”. Rant over, apologies for failures in composition. A better day and fortune to us all.

    • Kent
      Jan 13, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      The military and police have no effect on the safety of individuals. There job is to show up after the pain has been inflicted and put a scare in the population.

      If militarism solved the problem, Israeli’s would be the safest people on the planet. Instead they know that every day could be their last. We emulate them at our own peril.

      • 91B20 1st Cav (AUS)
        Jan 13, 2017 at 1:03 pm

        Kent, just so. Unfortunately, it appears the greater mind-set is that the citizen’s pain-in-the-ass responsibility to maintain the integrity of their Constitutional rights by keeping their elected representatives feet to the fire can be easily reassigned to the military and police agencies. As a veteran, I struggle daily with the (often sincerely given) current expression “…thank you for your service…”. Too often, my sad and surly reply is: “…and what service may I thank YOU for…”.

    • West
      Jan 13, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      I used to feel the same way, but the election of DJT has me questioning exactly how many people “get it” – and by this I mean to say, that I suspect a lot more people “get it” and are concerned about loss of liberties, jobs, and personal freedoms than what the MSM would lead one to believe.

      It took the bailouts of 2008 and the ACA in 2009 to finally galvanize what became the Tea Party, and while its political force has weakened, the ideas behind that movement have only grown stronger.

      The million dollar question is whether people are concerned enough about it to do more than just vote occasionally – they need to get involved with the process.

      • 91B20 1st Cav (AUS)
        Jan 14, 2017 at 10:55 am

        Mr. West, thank you. The ‘million dollar question’ is exactly my ‘pain-in-the-ass’ point. A better day to us all.

  4. Dan Romig
    Jan 13, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    President Obama has once again told the citizens of the United States of America, “Fuc# the 4th Amendment and the Bill of Rights!”

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out Mr. President.

    • Jan 13, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      Mr. Romig

      Of course you must be incorrect, sir.

      http://www.factcheck.org/2008/03/obama-a-constitutional-law-professor/

      Mr. Obama is a Constitutional Law Scholar, so — as President — he would not do anything to contravene the U S Constitution, right ? LOL !

      Obama is as much a Narcissist as anyone else you or I would hang that appellation upon.

      Narcissists have little regard for things beyond their plane of existence.

      Just look at how he is celebrity star-struck — and worse, how much he celebrates his own celebrity.

      Constitutional Law Scholar indeed ! ! !

      SnowieGeorgie

      • polecat
        Jan 13, 2017 at 7:28 pm

        …… and there was joy(lessness) throughout the land as millions of desperate college students bowed down in their subservience to a life-time of college-loan penury ……

  5. Mike G
    Jan 13, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    If you expect an authoritarian like Trump and the heavily authoritarian Republicans behind him to restrain the surveillance state I think you’ll be very disappointed. Based on his personal history I predict he’ll turbocharge domestic spying and exploit it for personal vindictive purposes.

    • walter map
      Jan 13, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      You already have the Patriot Act, FISA, TIA, NSI, warrantless wiretaps, roaming wiretaps, satellites, drones, and so forth. Since there was nothing left anyway this latest legislation doesn’t really change anything.

      As for your ‘privacy rights’, you don’t need them because you have nothing to hide and therefore nothing to fear. Rest assured your rights are still well-protected, with the Constitution locked up in a glass case in DC under heavy guard where nobody can get at them.

      You guys worry too much. Stop your fussing and get back to work.

  6. Tom Kauser
    Jan 13, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Congress will fix this!
    This last E.O. is for the boys in the congress to undo!
    (Unless lord tangerine says no? )

  7. Tom Kauser
    Jan 13, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Does anyone have a clue wants in the 911 survivors legislation?
    I do know that the president slipped something in to the wording that breezed that baby right thru?
    (Expanded trade negotiation powers for the new president?)

  8. Jan 13, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    I think that its correct the decision of Obama. Time will tell if he has reason.

    • Tom Kauser
      Jan 13, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Sticking it to the congress that is reason enough!
      (Chief executive is more important to Mr. Trump than being a commander In chief Or anything else in the whole wide world except being an entertainer)
      Met a good job in the city………

  9. Bruce Adlam
    Jan 13, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    By letting big companies get bigger through M &A to big to fail. Tax payer keep your hand in your pockets to bail them out. They are not the inovators there job is to protect there market and crush the small inovators or buy them out.that will undermine democracy. A lot of resent inovatation is more about cheepening or getting ridd of labour then real inovatation and we will pay for that or the market will either way it will be painful. We don’t need to big to fail companies with the help of government to keep screwing us.

  10. Nicko
    Jan 13, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Empowering various federal agencies with greater search and sharing powers will ultimately keep tabs on Trump’s activities, especially given his litany of current and incoming scandals, particularly his bizarre fascination with Putin’s Russia. Ultimately not even a boisterous Trump will dare take on the security state, and ironically, they may be the only institution capable of saving America from a disastrous Trump Presidency. We live in dangerous times.

    • Chicken
      Jan 14, 2017 at 1:15 am

      It’s reassuring the RNC is still attempting to discredit Trump, this suggests he really is going to drain the swamp.

  11. mikey
    Jan 13, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    If he has to to something, why doesn’t he drop mj from schedule 1. He has been a do nothing for six years. This flurry of orders must be someone else’s idea

  12. wratfink
    Jan 13, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    The Constitution has been effectively neutered since the US bankruptcy of 1933 and the takeover proceedings by the international banking cartel soon thereafter. Congress is merely the trustee overseeing the liquidation.

    All gold was turned over to the private corporation called the Federal Reserve in return for loans to enable the New Deal and it’s numerous programs to pull the country out of the Great Depression.

    The country has been in a state of emergency (EO) since, and every president has continued that EO and added to it with more subversive EOs. The 4th Amendment (or any other one) means nothing under a state of emergency.

    Tin-foil hat territory? Refer to Congressman James Traficant’s 1993 speech before the House (it’s in the Congressional Record) for an in-depth explanation.

    • Dan Romig
      Jan 13, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      Yes, the “State of Emergency” was declared in 1933, and Congressman Traficant was referring to another event from 1933 in his speech to the House in ’93.

      The Internal Revenue Service was chartered in Delaware as a private corporation, and it is not a division of the U.S. Treasury. The IRS has a ‘Corporate Charter’ as acknowledged by Traficant.

      Also, on 21 November 1933, FDR writes to Colonel House, “The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.”

      The U.S. Attorney General is part and parcel to this, and on 3 January she signed the new rules allowing the NSA to share with seventeen different government agencies “raw signals intelligence information” without ever obtaining a warrant. Ms. Lynch sat on the Fed’s New York Bank’s Board of Directors under Tim Geithner from 2003 to 2005. Also signing on, on 15 December, was the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper; or as I refer to him “Mr. set up all the lies about Iraq’s WMDs to justify a war Cheney and W wanted to have so badly.”

  13. Paulo
    Jan 13, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    My Dad was a WW2 vet…. American Army, day 3 Normandy landings. He made it through, came home, and ran his own business in California until ’68. He then sold his business, packed up the furniture and family, and we moved to Canada. It took about a year to accomplish everything for the emigration.

    At that time the FBI were running undercover agents infiltrating any group that protested the war in Viet Nam. When I was old enough to understand he talked to me about it over a few beers on the back porch. He said, “The US is on the way to becoming a Police State. It will one day be a Police State. This is not what we fought for, but what we fought against”. That discussion was almost 40 years ago. He was right. If this is not the definition of a nascent Police State, then pray tell, what is?

    definition: “just beginning, budding, developing, growing, embryonic, incipient, young, fledgling, evolving, emergent, dawning, burgeoning
    “the nascent economic recovery”

    Furthermore, the decades of allowing corporations to influence and run the State for their own benefit is the definition of Facism. While Trump has been given the mantle, It started after Eisenhower’s warning was disregarded by all.

    definition: “a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism. ”

    From Eisenhowers farewell address:
    Instead, the United States was “compelled to create a permanent armaments industry” and a huge military force. He admitted that the Cold War made clear the “imperative need for this development,” but he was gravely concerned about “the acquisition of unwarranted influence…by the military-industrial complex.” In particular, he asked the American people to guard against the “danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

    This Post Topic is most certainly very much about Business and belongs on an econmic website. The Country is most certainly all about economic hegemony, a burgeoning military industrial powerhouse, marauding global arms dealer, and maker of war. Today, ‘tweets’ are attacking The Press, Unions, and Education System. They are all under attack by der Leader. ‘Entitlements’ are threatened, and personal rights and freedoms are under 24/7 scrutiny by the State Security Apparatus.

    ” First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. ”

    https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007392

    regards

    • Dan Romig
      Jan 13, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      Thank you Paulo. My father was also a WW2 vet (at the very end), and worked as a radar repair man on the aircraft that flew the Berlin Air Lift. The East German Stasi would be jealous of today’s NSA.

    • WTFrogg
      Jan 13, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      +1 Paulo. My Dad spent 4 years in the Pacific with OSS.

      Canada has it’s counterpart to the NSA :

      https://www.google.com/maps/place/Communications+Security+Establishment/@45.4268032,-75.6461236,15z/data=!4m8!1m2!2m1!1sCommunications+Security++EstablishmentVanier+Parkway,+Ottawa,+ON,+Canada!3m4!1s0x4cce0fea568c88e1:0x25e08494d6807f16!8m2!3d45.4338637!4d-75.6156215
      Under MLATs ( Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties) they spy on each others
      citizens and then trade info……does away with the “inconvenience” of legal issues.
      Also, when you have the Head of the RCMP beholding to the Prime Minister of Canada for his appointment to the job, and the RCMP with NO Parliamentary oversight body, I’d call that getting pretty close to a police state.

      • Paulo
        Jan 13, 2017 at 4:18 pm

        Very true, WT. I would like to add though, that our Unions have much more power and influence and our school systems have autonomy from The State. It always has to be fought for, mind you, and guarded. Why are we having to fight the same battles of Dust Bowl days? Complacency?

        The Canadians have CISIS, for sure. But I don’t think they are very good at it. When I think of Canadian Security I am more inclined to think of keystone cops. However, our politicians are told what to do by their masters as much as any country. Hopefully, people are wising up to Boy Wonder.

        Our surveillance system hides behind a mantle of Canadian politeness.

  14. Ishkabibble
    Jan 13, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    The US’s economic system, whatever you want to call it, CAN NOT and, therefore, MUST NOT be separated or isolated from the military-SECURITY-industrial complex (MSIC) when discussing literally anything (including anything having to do with the Fed, the stock market, “corporations”, inflation, employment statistics, healthcare, etc. etc. etc.) about the United States of America. Therefore, I feel it necessary to once again repeat something.

    George Kennan was an influential US VIP for many years.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_F._Kennan
    He said the following just a few short years before the end of the Soviet Union.

    “Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”

    Since the USSR’s collapse, Kennan’s prediction has been proven to be amazingly accurate. Although it may seem impossible, it is a gross understatement to say that Kennan’s statement must be taken very seriously, to the extreme. At the time he said it, Kennan meant EXACTLY what he said.

    What we average people have a duty to fully realize and fully appreciate is that what Kennan said is EVEN MORE TRUE TODAY than it was in Kennan’s time.

    To elaborate, the US “system” would undergo very serious financial, social and political upheaval if its wars of hegemony and its MSIC were to suddenly be halted without an alternative economic system being fully “designed” PRIOR to them stopping.

    But because the MSIC is politically immortal and financially omnipotent, even the mere DECISION TO BEGIN “drawing up” an appropriate design is, practically speaking, impossible to make. As far as the MSIC and their slaves are concerned, the present system’s design (and it is indeed designed) is already perfect and they are fighting like hell to make sure that design remains unmodified.

    Therefore, what we see the MSIC’s government slaves and MSM doing and saying and fabricating against Trump this very day, within what is still ostensibly a democracy and not an outright dictatorship, is a desperate, literally panicking “legal” effort to try to resurrect an old enemy in the MINDS of an already-fearful bewildered herd so that the herd will continue its political/finanicial support of a MSIC that is wasting trillions of its dollars — dollars that could otherwise be used to not only improve life in the US, but also end the US’s economic need for oil and other resources that reside in nations outside US borders.

    To put it succinctly, the MSIC owns the MSM, the Congress, the Justice Dept., the Supreme Court and, last, but certainly not least, the pollsters. All together, in perfectly harmonious concert, they are so-obviously-desperately trying to destroy a president-elect who threatens their livelihood. “Threatens” them with what? Peace!! That’s what. Peace!!

    Just like they did long before election day, they’ll do “whatever it takes” in their concerted effort, until their money, and then their infinite “line of credit”, runs out. If necessary, they will keep up their effort every single day of Trump’s presidency. That is what we have to look forward to.

    Therefore, as much as we might literally hate Trump, we must support Trump at least in his effort to change US foreign policy, and hold our noses and cover our ears at everything else he says and does. We cannot afford to be “picky”, not this time.

    A future that is free of war should be our one and only goal. The post-WWII US foreign policy of “exceptional” worldwide hegemony must be stopped at all cost, even if part of that cost is our self-respect and dignity, because what the US has been doing for at least the past 26 years has “led” humanity’s world to the destruction of several middle-eastern, north African, etc. nations (which has in turn caused a European refugee/immigrant crisis), as well as the brink of nuclear WW3.

    In the US, the citizens’ near-complete loss of privacy and, for many, standard of living at the direction of an increasingly tyrannical government (/TBTF banks) are the inevitable “domestic” collateral damage caused by that same “foreign” policy.

  15. WTFrogg
    Jan 13, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    https://www.privacytools.io/#participate

    Food for thought in today’s electronic world of almost total disregard for privacy and legal safeguards.

    Got nothing to hide ? Give me all your passwords , etc . so I can go fishing.

    The governments get away with this under the guise of : war on drugs, war on money laundering, war against terrorism or whatever the “bogeyman of the year” happens to be.

    Those electronic leashes get mighty uncomfortable when inserted where the sun doesn’t shine.

  16. Rocky
    Jan 13, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    So many of the comments here are “pretend conservative” BS if you will.

    Stop lying and calling yourself conservative when you are really a big government Republican. With the current RINO’s, the difference is enormous.

    You cannot call yourselves “conservative” when you love big government legislation that represses the individual rights of Americans that you don’t agree with – but shout “dictator” when you don’t like the legislation that doesn’t fit your narrow world view.

    The evangelical Republicans are the worst hypocrites in that regard. Their repressive homophobe and Islamophobe legislation hypocrisy is deafening. Yet you Trump lovers support the shameful Mike Pence – a big government Christian fascist if there ever was one.

    And then there’s the Trump corporate bashing that is all about big government “anti- free markets” intimidation.

    Instead of respecting citizens free choice and allowing the freedom of consumerism, boycotts and divestiture to make companies to do the right thing for American workers, you RINO hypocrites love “right to work” (i.e. take away worker rights) laws but hate consumer protection, public health and safety laws because it might hurt you stock prices.

    The phony jawboning about big government and “freedom” of course only applies if it fits most of your “white Christian mindless corporate American Dream ‘poor people are inferior to us'” BS.

    This is why I avoid Trump supplicants whenever I can. Their hypocritical grandiosity – like Trump, Pence, Giuliani et al – is all about their delusional social terrorism against anyone who doesn’t buy into their new political cult.

    The Tea Party, by the way, has devolved to a joke. It’s called the “bigger swamp”.

    • Petunia
      Jan 13, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      There is a segment of the republican party that is not conservative. They are very moderate politically, most of them are former moderate democrats pushed out of the overly radical democrat party. The more radical the left becomes the smaller their base becomes. You need to expand your research into the opposition.

      • walter map
        Jan 13, 2017 at 6:16 pm

        Interesting.

        What left?

      • Rocky
        Jan 13, 2017 at 7:25 pm

        Editor, delete my very last response. These Trump people make me too easily furious. Thank you.

        • Jan 13, 2017 at 8:16 pm

          Thanks. This partisan sniping at each other is out of place here. Positions on both sides are fixed, and no one is going to change their mind by reading these comments. It just drives people nuts, on both sides. At the same time, these pot shots and name-calling bury the truly interesting, informative, and on-topic comments.

  17. robert sinclair
    Jan 13, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    he wont. the us is prettywell lawless and under trump there will be no change.

  18. George McDuffee
    Jan 13, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    RE: … but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people.
    =====
    There has been no “private” information for at least a generation.

    If we want to increase domestic security, I suggest real-time surveillance of the SWIFT and stock/commodity/derivative exchange data streams using the pattern recognition and artificial intelligence software.

    • Petunia
      Jan 13, 2017 at 6:28 pm

      In the 80’s you could see the money laundering in real time staring at the funds transfer screens. Now data streams can be easily intercepted, so I wouldn’t be quick to trust the data as reliable, especially with third party software over it.

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