The US surveillance state is poised to grow more powerful under a Trump administration.
Though President-elect Donald Trump still has nearly two months until he’s sworn in, his picks for Attorney General and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency are a sign that many surveillance reforms could be overturned or changed, such as the NSA’s collection of telephone metadata on all Americans — a program that was reformed after it was exposed by Edward Snowden.
Trump recently appointed Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo for CIA Director. Both have advocated for the increased domestic spying that was implemented by former President George W. Bush after 9/11, according to Bloomberg.
“Congress should pass a law re-establishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database,” Pompeo wrote with coauthor David Rivkin, Jr. in a Wall Street Journal editorial in January. “Legal and bureaucratic impediments to surveillance should be removed.”
Among legal impediments Pompeo mentioned were Presidential Policy Directive 28, an order from President Obama concerning surveillance practices that put into words many policies that the intelligence community had already been doing, according to an analysis by Lawfare.
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