- Riots break out after a fake email about coronavirus went viral Thursday 8:59 PM
- Bloomberg edits debate clip to make other Democratic candidates appear speechless Thursday 7:50 PM
- Dad claims YouTube refuses to remove video of daughter’s murder Thursday 6:36 PM
- Video of Kanye leaving Kim in elevator to carry all their bags has people cackling Thursday 6:19 PM
- Orlando Bloom’s tattoo misspelled son’s name because of Pinterest Thursday 5:35 PM
- The Ahi Challenge is the latest dance taking over TikTok Thursday 4:40 PM
- Show criticized for putting rape victim in blackface to protect her identity Thursday 3:42 PM
- Woman becomes viral sensation after iconic ‘Shallow’ subway video Thursday 2:48 PM
- Prettyboyfredo tried to gift a bullied teen some $30,000 Nikes at school—he got detained Thursday 2:13 PM
- ‘Vanderpump Rules’ recap: Wedding bells and blows Thursday 1:50 PM
- A 16-year-old made a ‘meme guide’ to help her dad understand online trends Thursday 1:46 PM
- UCLA drops plans to use facial recognition after student pushback Thursday 1:07 PM
- ‘Star Trek: Picard’ recap, episode 5: ‘Stardust City Rag’ Thursday 12:56 PM
- Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months in prison Thursday 12:45 PM
- New The 1975 music video is full of memes you’ll love Thursday 12:28 PM
Jeb Bush endorses NSA program that tracks U.S. phone records
It’s a bold stance.
Speaking Wednesday afternoon at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the former Florida governor called the National Security Agency’s practice of collecting and storing American phone records in bulk “a hugely important program.” Bush went so far as to express confusion over why it would be a controversial issue.
“Preventing terrorist attacks requires intelligence-gathering, including the NSA metadata program,” he said. “For the life of me, I don’t understand the debate.”
The program itself, the first one made public from former NSA systems administrator Edward Snowden’s cache of files, is still highly debated. Former NSA director Keith Alexander said in 2013 that there was only a single instance where he found the program was integral to stopping a terrorist attack.
Privacy groups have resoundingly condemned the program. The White House’s Privacy and Civil LIberties Oversight Board found in Jan. 2014 that the program was likely “illegal,” and Obama himself promised to reform it two months later, though such reforms have yet to be articulated. There have been several attempts to end or reform the metadata collection in Congress, though they’ve all fallen short so far.
Bush’s comments mark a clear line between himself and fellow 2016 hopeful Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), likely the most vocal Republican critic of the program in the Senate, who went so far as to file a lawsuit agains the Obama administration, claiming the program violated the Fourth Amendment.
Illustration by Max Fleishman
A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.