Facebook’s new general counsel helped craft the ‘Patriot Act’

Christoph Scholz/Flickr


The newly-announced general counsel for Facebook helped “craft” the controversial Patriot Act, according to reports.

Facebook announced on Monday that Jennifer Newstead would replace Colin Stretch as the company’s general counsel and oversee the social media giant’s “global legal functions.”

“Jennifer is a seasoned leader whose global perspective and experience will help us fulfill our mission,” Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO said in a news release.

But, as the Hill points out, a 2002 press release from the Department of Justice credited Newstead with “helping craft” the Patriot Act, a controversial law signed in 2001 following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Newstead was previously nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as a legal adviser to the State Department.

The law has been widely criticized for allowing sweeping government surveillance that violated Americans’ privacy.

The hiring of Newstead comes as Facebook has dealt with a number of privacy breaches—most recently a security incident that left millions of passwords on Instagram stored in plaintext on company servers—and criticism surrounding user’s privacy.


Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).