Presidential candidates come out for more surveillance

Dec 06, 2015 10:30 pm
On Nov. 28, the United States National Security Agency stopped the bulk collection of the metadata from Americans' phone calls. That came after a debate weighing Americans' privacy rights with the need to protect Americans from domestic right-wing terrorists with assault rifles or religion-fueled terrorists with improvised explosive devices. Now, though, after high-profile gunfights on Paris and California, almost everyone running for president is ready for less privacy, and more spying on Americans, though much of what they said was incorrect or misleading. Democrat Hilary Clinton implied this week she wanted more surveillance, though she just lists what the government is already doing. “We’re going to need help from Facebook, and from YouTube, and from Twitter.... They’re going to have to help us take down these announcements and these appeals as quickly as they get up.” Facebook took down a pro-jihad screed by one of the California attackers, Tashfeen Malik, disabling the account. “We have to start looking at families now,” Republican Donald Trump said this week, and previously he has advocated for surveillance of some mosques. Republican John Kasich said the California suspects had used encryption technology, though no evidence of that has surfaced in the media. The Guardian reported that, Republican "Marco Rubio, the Florida senator also running for president, said restrictions on dragnet collection of metadata was the problem, blaming Barack Obama for signing legislation last summer, the Freedom Act, that forced the government to rely on phone companies to keep data on customers." Clinton and Kasich both called for companies to open back-doors on encryption apps -- backdoors that critics say would allow hackers, or even terrorists, a way in to "secure" websites. Bernie Sanders, a Democrat, wants tougher screening policies. "We have got to do everything that we can to protect the American people.... and that means much tougher screening polices than we have right now. ... I think clearly Paris was an intelligence failure and we need to be tapping the intelligence information that is being ascertained from countries all over the world.”