Edward Snowden Has Some Advice for Donald Trump About Surveillance
Publisher: The Intercept
Date Written: 14/03/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20517
Emmons interviews NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden about Trump's skewed priorities.
Snowden explained that the NSA's surveillance dragnet currently allows any analyst with an appropriate clearance to search a massive database of communications for phones or IP addresses related to anyone, including the president. He was describing the Upstream program conducted under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, in which the NSA collects a vast number of American communications from internet cables entering and exiting the United States, ostensibly only "targeting" foreigners.
"If Donald Trump wants to take this seriously, he needs to fix the problem that everyone in America's communications are being collected right now, without a warrant, and they're going into the bucket, and they're protected by very lax internal policy regulations, and this simply is not enough," said Snowden.
"The problem is not, 'Oh, you know, poor Donald Trump.' You're the president. You should be asking questions about 'Why was this possible in the first place?' and "Why havent I fixed it?'"
Far from trying to eliminate the NSA's authorities under Section 702, Trump supports having Congress extend the programs past this year, when they would otherwise expire -- while at the same time continuing President Obama's refusal to give the legislative branch even a ballpark estimate of what proportion of domestic communications they capture.