By Carl Wicklander Since the Paris terrorist attacks on November 13, various mainstream news outlets have noted that the politics of surveillance have shifted. A shift would indicate that instead of rolling back surveillance policies in favor of more privacy, more invasive policies could be enacted.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio used the attacks to accuse fellow Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Rand Paul of forcing a “weakening of our intelligence-gathering capabilities” that ultimately “leaves America vulnerable.” Yet despite this shift, there are still at least 5 politicians who remain consistent about surveillance after Paris.
1. U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (MI-03)
On Twitter, Amash, a noted critic of surveillance policies, wrote of Rubio’s support for a bill to extend the bulk collection of metadata that was a key provision of the Patriot Act:
@marcorubiojust cosponsored bill to extend unconstitutional spying on all Americans. He’d fit right in with GOP of past. #YesterdayIsOver
2. U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (KY-04)
The Kentucky representative told ABC News over Thanksgiving weekend how the immediate aftermath of a tragedy is the time when the government tries to capitalize on citizens’ fears to expand its power:
“Within six weeks of 9/11 they passed the Patriot Act. And it’s only natural they would try to do the same thing this time.”
3. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (KY)
Calling the argument that the Paris attacks required more surveillance “bullshit,” Sen. Paul also noted that surveillance policies of the past and present did not stop the Paris attacks:
“They are collecting your phone records as we speak, they did not miss a beat, even though we voted on reform, all your phone records are being collected and stored in Utah. Did it stop the attack in Paris? No.”
4. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (TX)
One of the candidates attacked by Rubio for opposing Patriot Act bulk collections, Cruz responded that his rival:
“…is trying to respond to the criticism that he has received that he is not willing to protect the Fourth Amendment privacy rights of law-abiding citizens.”
Separately, Cruz posted one of his endorsements on Twitter which noted his role in passing the USA Freedom Act:
“[Cruz] will use every tool we have to win, but he will never betray the very Constitution we are sworn to defend.”
Even before its passage, there was fierce debate about how much privacy the Freedom Act provided Americans, but Cruz’s positions have indicated that more surveillance is not the answer.
5. U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (OR)
The Oregon Democrat has long been a critic of Washington’s surveillance policies. Echoing some of the sentiments of Paul and Massie, Wyden explained that broadly-defined powers are not even effective, which was also the case in France where an aggressive surveillance law was passed following the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January:
“While some people seem eager to seize on this crisis to resurrect failed policies of the past, the facts show mass surveillance doesn’t protect us from terrorist attacks.”
Republished with permission by IVN.