While most of the Trump Administration was lamenting the WikiLeaks revelations about CIA surveillance as another dramatic blow to national security, primarily in that it revealed yet more abuses of privacy on top of the NSA scandals of recent years, FBI Director James Comey took a different direction, downplaying the revelations and insisting Americans should never expect the government isn’t spying on their communications.
“There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America, there is no place outside of judicial reach,” Comey insisted, going on to say that any conversations an American has with their spouse, with members of the clergy, even with attorneys, isn’t really private and could be gotten if the government really wanted.
Comey’s assurances that such data gathering was always “reviewable in court” was little comfort, given the increased federal reliance on secret surveillance courts, who exist solely to rubber stamp secret orders allowing broad surveillance operations that would otherwise be illegal.
It also ignores the reality that the NSA and CIA are both supposedly forbidden by law from spying on Americans, and yet the NSA was caught conducting mass surveillance on literally all Americans, and new documents suggest the CIA was doing the exact same thing.
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