- Cooking Mama’s return whips up a fresh batch of memes Tuesday 8:18 PM
- Influencer body-shames model, Photoshops photo of self to ‘prove point’ Tuesday 7:27 PM
- Boosie Badazz goes on transphobic rant about Dwyane Wade’s daughter Tuesday 6:34 PM
- Royal Family’s website accidentally links to porn instead of charity Tuesday 5:39 PM
- Republican senator spreads false conspiracy about coronavirus Tuesday 5:11 PM
- New DNA technology could help exonerate Black man serving life sentence Tuesday 4:24 PM
- ‘SNL’s’ Kenan Thompson to host the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Tuesday 3:58 PM
- Singer Summer Walker dragged for insensitive HIV comments Tuesday 2:39 PM
- This video of a teddy bear getting steam cleaned makes a perfect meme Tuesday 2:27 PM
- Ted Cruz goes on Twitter tirade over proposed vasectomy bill Tuesday 2:22 PM
- Billie Eilish says she’s stopped reading Instagram comments Tuesday 2:13 PM
- Christian group blames satanists for Twitter poll results Tuesday 1:41 PM
- Coronavirus has pandemic-themed video games topping charts Tuesday 12:58 PM
- Bloomberg said kids are drawn to socialism because they think it involves social media Tuesday 12:55 PM
- Jake Paul gives ill-informed advice on how to deal with anxiety Tuesday 12:25 PM
Chris Christie to Congress: Bring back NSA’s phone metadata program
Christie is unapologetic in his support for NSA mass spying.
The New Jersey governor criticized lawmakers for ending a National Security Agency bulk phone-records collection program by passing the USA Freedom Act in June. The NSA can still collect this phone metadata—information about the calls, but not call audio—through an executive order, but Christie said that the closure of the more publicized program was a threat to national security.
“The end of the metadata program has made America weaker and more vulnerable,” said in a Facebook post. “The San Bernardino terrorist attack should prove to everyone just how exposed we are as a nation. If Republicans in Congress really want to do something to protect American families, they should fight for the restoration of the metadata program and not take no for any answer.”
Christie declined to mention that a federal appeals court ruled in May that the metadata program was never authorized in the first place. The government had claimed that it fell under a section of the USA Patriot Act, the controversial 2001 spy bill, but the court rejected that argument.
Christie, a former U.S. Attorney in the George W. Bush administration, found himself well positioned to capitalize on the 2016 campaign’s shift to national-security issues after the Paris terrorist attacks. He has attempted to play up his prosecutorial experience under the previous administration as a sign that he is ready to be commander-in-chief. But in dismissing civil-liberties concerns about warrantless mass surveillance, Christie has earned the ire of opponents like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the presidential field’s leading privacy advocate.
On Monday, Paul, one of two presidential candidates to vote for the USA Freedom Act (along with Texas senator Ted Cruz), slammed Christie for being “very willing to give up your liberty for a false sense of security” in an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
“Is there any limit to how much liberty authoritarians like Christie are willing to give up?” Paul wondered aloud. “Will it have been worth it if we’re no longer who we were … in the process of defending the country?”
Photo via Marc Nozell/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman
Eric Geller is a politics reporter who focuses on cybersecurity, surveillance, encryption, and privacy. A former staff writer at the Daily Dot, Geller joined Politico in June 2016, where he's focused on policymaking at the White House, the Justice Department, the State Department, and the Commerce Department.