With Trump’s recent tweets accusing Obama of tapping his phones during the election have caused many to question the spy agencies. Not only this recent claim but the accusations against Russia and Hillary Clinton have caused many to look again at the FBI and NSA. Almost all parties have denied taking part in any part of the accusations, with the White House backing down, but Trump has refused to relinquish his claims. Rand Paul has used these claims to suggest a concern about privacy and has caused many people to concern themselves with the fourth amendment.
The NSA has access to huge amounts of communication with over 250 million internet communications collected in 2011 using a program called Section 702. In 2015 this program carried out 23,000 searches against US citizens. Civil libertarians are concerned with these “loose rules” as they call it. While intelligence officials are supposed to be far more open, few Americans are aware of the extent of communication collection.
With Trump’s attitude towards these intelligence agency, it begs the question what he’s going to do in regards to them. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board is a 5 member commitee that has access to classified material is currently only one member awaiting new nominations. A former chairman of this board from 2013 to 2016 remarked that if the president is so concerned about surveillance then he should appoint new members to the board. I think that they have a point and if Trump wants to make stricter rules, do something about it instead of throwing out accusations.