According to Common Dreams, the Trump administration is seeking the permanent reauthorization of an NSA mass spying program, which had been exposed previously by Edward Snowden. The surveillance program looked through telephone call records and text messages of everyday Americans in order to find terrorists.
The New York Times reported that "the administration urged lawmakers to make permanent the legal authority for the National Security Agency to gain access to logs of Americans' domestic communications, the USA Freedom Act."
"The law, enacted after the intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden revealed the existence of the program in 2013, is set to expire in December, but the Trump administration wants it made permanent," the NYT wrote.
“The White House is calling for reauthorization of a program that security agencies have used to spy on innocent people, violate their privacy, and chill free speech," said Sandra Fulton, the Free Press Action government relations director. "The NSA program permits the mapping of relationships among members of marginalized communities and distant associates of targeted individuals, even when most individuals in those communities were never suspected of wrongdoing.”
"Historically, authorities have used such overbroad authority to harass members of these communities," Fulton added, "especially those who speak out when their rights are under threat."
Senior staff attorney for the ACLU’s National Security Project, Patrick Toomey, said the surveillance program should not be brought back.
"It's long past time that this surveillance program was shuttered once and for all," Toomey said. "The NSA has been vacuuming up hundreds of millions of Americans' call records as part of a program that is hopelessly complex and lacks any discernible evidence of its value. We should not leave such a sweeping, unaccountable power in the hands of our spy agencies."
Read the full story here.