Tags: donald trump | nominee | backdoor search | surveillance | warrant

Trump Nominates 'Backdoor Search' Supporter for Surveillance Watchdog Post

Trump Nominates 'Backdoor Search' Supporter for Surveillance Watchdog Post
(AP)

By    |   Thursday, 31 August 2017 12:16 PM

President Donald Trump's nominee to lead a group that oversees federal surveillance programs defended the warrantless search of American communications, The Washington Examiner reports.

Adam Klein, a senior fellow at the think tank Center for a New American Security, was nominated last Friday to chair the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. This group, established in 2007, but not functional until 2013, reviewed the mass-collection of domestic phone records by the National Security Agency as part of its surveillance programs exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

In an op-ed last month in The Wall Street Journal, Klein argued that "keeping officials from searching this data would make it more difficult to prevent homegrown terrorist attacks."

He adds, "In 2009, the National Security Agency used 702 to collect emails in which an unknown person in the U.S. asked an al Qaida member in Pakistan for advice on making explosives. Those emails led the FBI to Najibullah Zazi, a Colorado man with imminent plans to bomb the New York subway system. Catching him saved dozens if not hundreds of lives."

Klein argues against requiring a warrant to run these searches, as "database checks are most useful at the early stages of an inquiry, when officials are seeking to determine whether a person of interest has connections to terrorists. At that point, investigators rarely have gathered enough evidence to demonstrate probable cause. For that reason, requiring a warrant will make these queries effectively impossible."

Robyn Greene of the think tank New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute told the Examiner that Klein is "extremely deferential to the intelligence community, almost to the point where he fails to ask the tough questions."

She added that "The warrantless query of a U.S. person's  information is a perfect example. It's very important as the chair of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board that you be really scrupulous about addressing the concerns of the privacy community as well as the arguments of the intelligence community."

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President Donald Trump's nominee to lead a group that oversees federal surveillance programs defended the warrantless search of American communications, The Washington Examiner reports.
donald trump, nominee, backdoor search, surveillance, warrant
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2017-16-31
Thursday, 31 August 2017 12:16 PM
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