I’m sure you noticed the recent kerfuffle about President Trump supposedly calling certain chronically poverty-stricken countries a bad name. Propagandists jumped on the story like starving Venezuelans on a stray dog.

Whether he said it or not, it was fake news. Whenever some worthless story like that takes over the news, our rulers are doing something more evil and unpopular than usual that will harm us all. In this case, Congress was not only quietly reauthorizing bulk surveillance of Americans, but expanding that power. That’s why Dick Durbin, a senator owned by CIANSAFBIPentagon, created the phony fervor.

Trump recently signed the bill into law. The press paints it as a business-as-usual reauthorization of the latest Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, but as bad as that was, this new one is worse.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation explains, “[Intercepted] communications are then stored in a massive database that can be searched by other intelligence agencies, including the FBI and CIA. When those agencies search the data – even when it belongs to U.S. persons – they do not obtain a warrant. These searches are called “backdoor” searches because they avoid the constitutional warrant requirement provided to U.S. persons by the Fourth Amendment.”

Previously the NSA and the CIA could spy on the communications of Americans without a warrant. The new law allows the FBI to do the same. Showing what a sham the lawmaking process is, many vocal critics of the bill voted for it.

Judge Andrew Napolitano writes, “Late last week, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, repeated his public observations that members of the intelligence community – particularly the CIA, the NSA, and the intelligence division of the FBI – are not trustworthy with the nation’s intelligence secrets. Because he has a security clearance at the ‘top secret’ level and knows how others who have access to secrets have used and abused them, his allegations are extraordinary.”

Two stories from this week, are proving Napolitano’s point, even as I write. First, Politico reports, “The National Security Agency destroyed surveillance data it pledged to preserve in connection with pending lawsuits and apparently never took some of the steps it told a federal court it had taken to make sure the information wasn’t destroyed, according to recent court filings.”

Breitbart informs, “The Federal Bureau of Investigation has lost about five months of text messages between two top officials, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who openly disparaged then-candidate Donald Trump while working on the Clinton email investigation and the Russia probe investigation, according to a top Republican senator.”

That’s convenient for both corrupt agencies, but it’s business as usual. The law doesn’t apply to spies. The deep state runs Washington. The politicians are their tools. Despite his criticism, Nunes voted for reauthorization.

But spies aren’t just above the law. They’re ahead of it. Spies accept no limits on their power. Technology and money are their only limits. This law doesn’t really give the FBI new powers. It legalizes the powers the FBI was already illegally using.

The New York Times recently exposed, “The Trump administration has decided that the National Security Agency and the F.B.I. can lawfully keep operating their warrantless surveillance program even if Congress fails to extend the law authorizing it before an expiration date of New Year’s Eve, according to American officials.”

Of course. Laws don’t limit spies. Every president would say the same because the spies demand it.

But there is some good news. The Washington Post warns, “The National Security Agency is losing its top talent at a worrisome rate as highly skilled personnel, some disillusioned with the spy service’s leadership and an unpopular reorganization, take higher-paying, more flexible jobs in the private sector.”

It’s only worrisome because the Post is run by the CIA. If true, this is good news for honest Americans, but most likely it’s propaganda to increase the spy budget.

In more good news, the FBI tells us privacy can still be had on the internet, and it doesn’t like it. According to Reuters, FBI Director Christopher Wray called strong encryption an “urgent public safety issue.” According to Arstechnica, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein called strong encryption “unreasonable,” clearly referencing the fourth amendment. That means they can’t break it, so they want mandatory backdoors. The more people who use strong encryption to keep government’s creepy spies at bay, the better.

Next, the FBI will demand whispering be made illegal.


Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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