Excerpt from: CREDO Action
President Obama must immediately dismantle the surveillance state.
The federal government currently has more power than ever before to monitor Americans by collecting our emails, text messages, phone records, chats, locations, purchases and other private information in bulk.
CREDO has fought the expansion of the surveillance state under Presidents Bush and Obama because we believe that mass warrantless spying on Americans is an ineffective violation of civil liberties, regardless of who is in power. Letting a fascist like Donald Trump seize control of the surveillance state could have even more dangerous and profound consequences for Americans.
Pres. Obama expanded the surveillance state during his presidency, and it is now his responsibility to take all steps in his power to dismantle it before Trump takes office.1
From spying on activists2 to prosecuting whistleblowers, the surveillance state has repeatedly been abused under President Obama. But, we have every reason to believe these abuses will get much worse if a vindictive bully like Trump takes control of the secretive, unaccountable spying apparatus.
Throughout his campaign, Trump called for expanding the already bloated surveillance state. And, Trump has made how he intends to abuse expanded surveillance powers perfectly clear: Spying on mosques, targeting immigrants and other vulnerable communities and suppressing journalism and activism.3, 4
Trump has also shown his hand through nominations. His pick for CIA Director, tea party Rep. Mike Pompeo from Kansas, is a leading supporter of expanding domestic spying programs. Pompeo introduced Orwellian legislation last year called the Liberty Through Strength Act, which would give the National Security Agency more access to business records and the FBI more access to communications data. Pompeo wants the NSA to restart its bulk collection of metadata and combine those records with financial and “lifestyle” data in a massive, searchable database.5 Chillingly, he’s also referred to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden as a traitor who he believes should receive the death penalty.6
It’s clear that Trump intends to use the surveillance state to spy on hundreds of millions of Americans, target vulnerable communities and suppress journalism and political dissent. President Obama has a grave responsibility to do everything in his power before leaving office to hamper Trump’s ability to abuse the spying apparatus by disclosing all mass surveillance programs, deleting data currently stored on Americans and physically destroying the infrastructure needed to collect additional data.
If Trump wants to wage an assault on our civil liberties, President Obama should make him build the capacity to do so from scratch.
Tell President Obama he must immediately dismantle the surveillance state.
- Go to CREDO action to sign the Petition to President Obama:
“Dismantle the surveillance state. Disclose all mass surveillance programs, delete the data stored on Americans and demolish the physical infrastructure needed to collect this data.”
Thanks for everything you do.
Josh Nelson, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Asset
Evan Greer, “President Obama Should Shut Down the NSA’s Mass Spying Before It’s Too Late,” Time, Nov. 9, 2016.
George Joseph, “Exclusive: Feds Regularly Monitored Black Lives Matter Since Ferguson,” The Intercept, July 24, 2016.
Emily Stephenson and Amanda Becker, “Trump Backs Surveillance of Mosques Despite Criticism of Rhetoric,” Reuters, June 15, 2016.
Michael Calderone, “A Donald Trump Presidency Presents A Grave Threat To The Press,” The Huffington Post, Nov. 7, 2016.
Curtis Tate and Lindsay Wise, “Rep. Mike Pompeo Wants to Revive Mass Surveillance Program,” McClatchyDC, Jan. 27, 2016.
Nadia Prupis, “Trump Picks Pro-Surveillance, Tea Party Hawk Mike Pompeo to Lead CIA,” Common Dreams, Nov. 18, 2016.
© 2016 CREDO. All rights reserved.