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Trump Administration Doubles Down on Surveillance

The White House has expressed its full support on the need for permanent reauthorization of Section 702, created "to address an intelligence-collection gap that resulted from the evolution of technology in the years after FISA became law in 1978." More specifically, to address the loophole which allowed foreign terrorists to benefit from the legal protections enjoyed by American citizens. "Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, proposed a bill to permanently reauthorize Section 702 without modification. The Trump administration supports his bill, without condition," reports the New York Times.

A hypocritical move: from Neema Singh Guliani, ACLU Legislative Counsel: "President Trump thinks surveillance is just 'terrible.' ... [quoting Trump] 'You look at the extent of surveillance ... 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. ... But just this morning, the Trump administration doubled down on surveillance."

"We have good reasons to be concerned about the impact of section 702 on the criminal justice system" Sarah St.Vincent writes in JustSecurity.org: "While this monitoring has considerable human rights implications for the foreigners who are targeted, it is likely that the dragnet is also capturing large numbers of U.S. persons' communications. The government likes to describe this seizure of Americans' private correspondence under Section 702 as 'incidental.' However ... "[s]uch 'incidental' collection ... is not accidental, nor is it inadvertent. ... This pool of warrantless Section 702 information on U.S. persons is probably sizeable."

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