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FBI and NSA Poised to Gain New Surveillance Powers Under Trump

Published: November 30, 2016
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Source: Bloomberg

The FBI, National Security Agency and CIA are likely to gain expanded surveillance powers under President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress, a prospect that has privacy advocates and some lawmakers trying to mobilize opposition.

Trump’s first two choices to head law enforcement and intelligence agencies -- Republican Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Republican Representative Mike Pompeo for director of the Central Intelligence Agency -- are leading advocates for domestic government spying at levels not seen since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

 

An “already over-powerful surveillance state” is about to “be let loose on the American people,” said Daniel Schuman, policy director for Demand Progress, an internet and privacy advocacy organization.

New Hacking Rule

In a reversal of curbs imposed after Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 about mass data-gathering by the NSA, Trump and Congress may move to reinstate the collection of bulk telephone records, renew powers to collect the content of e-mails and other internet activity, ease restrictions on hacking into computers and let the FBI keep preliminary investigations open longer.

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