Even As The GOP Whines About Illegal 'Deep State' Surveillance, It's Preparing To Give More Surveillance Powers To The FBI
from the fucking-hypocrites dept
We’ve been pretty critical of federal surveillance powers going back, well, as long as we can remember. And while Trump’s biggest supporters like to insist that FISA warrant abuses were some sort of new thing that were just used against his campaign in a politically motivated manner, the reality is that it’s just been standard operating procedures for the FBI to abuse the same “backdoor warrants” that were first revealed in 2013, but go back years before that. While, yes, the problems with the Carter Page surveillance were concerning, they were no more concerning than tons of other crap the FBI has done in making use of so-called backdoor warrants to surveil tons of Americans without cause.
Indeed, just this morning we were writing about how the FBI couldn’t even bother to meet the most basic procedural requirements regarding the use of these backdoor searches, and violated the Constitution over and over and over again in sniffing through this huge corpus of data.
Now, you might hope that even as we’ve had a new rash of misleading “deep state” complaints from Trump and his fans over the past few days, the government might actually look to pull back on the authorities granted to the DOJ/FBI to spy on Americans this way, but it appears that (of course) the opposite is happening. A draft bill to renew FISA powers would expand the FBI’s ability to conduct warrantless backdoor surveillance of Americans by snarfing their way through NSA collections of data.
Indeed it appears that, rather than enabling these backdoor searches through, let’s just say, creative interpretation of the words in the law, the new amendment would explicitly allow such searches.
Under cover of redressing what President Donald Trump and his allies call the FBI?s ?witch hunt? over collusion with the Kremlin, McConnell, via an amendment to the PATRIOT Act, will expressly permit the FBI to warrantlessly collect records on Americans? web browsing and search histories.
As always, Senator Ron Wyden is sounding the alarm:
?Under the McConnell amendment, Barr gets to look through the web browsing history of any American?including journalists, politicians, and political rivals?without a warrant, just by saying it is relevant to an investigation,? said Wyden, who has been trying to ban warrantless surveillance on such records.
It’s no surprise that the DOJ/FBI want to retain these powers, and it’s even less of a surprise that Attorney General Bill Barr, who has done more to politicize the DOJ than any Attorney General in decades, wants such easily abused surveillance powers. But it does make it quite clear that those who have been whining and complaining about the “deep state”, and talking about how unfair it is that Trump officials were subject to FBI surveillance, are generally full-of-shit hypocrites.