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Trump Quietly Nominates Mass Surveillance Advocate To “Protect” Your Privacy Rights

Though outrage over mass surveillance swept the United States after Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013, there is little discussion of these invasive practices just four years later.
This apathy comes despite former President Barack Obama’s move to expand to information sharing between agencies just days before Trump took office and after the Trump administration signaled its desire to continue widespread surveillance.

Amid this lack of attention toward the NSA, the president recently nominated a staunch advocate of mass surveillance to chair one of the few barriers standing between intrusive government spying and the American people’s privacy. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) was created in 2004 at the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission and was intended “to help the executive branch balance national security priorities with individual rights,” the Intercept reported earlier this year.

PCLOB is supposed to have five members, no more than three of whom come from the same political party; to employ a full-time chairperson; to have regular access to the 17 intelligence agencies; and to publish unclassified versions of its evaluations of U.S. espionage powers.

However, as of March of this year, the board was down to just one part-time member, and this lack of personnel rendered it largely impotent.

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