Intelligence Community Collected and Shared Information About Trump Transition People

Early information arising from a US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee investigation into possible United States government spying on Donald Trump and people associated with him appears to show that information about individuals associated with Trump and his presidential transition was collected through surveillance by, and was widely distributed in, the US intelligence community.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters Wednesday that “on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition” and that “details about US persons associated with the incoming administration – details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value – were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.”

Nunez also stated in a press release Wednesday that he has “asked the Directors of the FBI, NSA, and CIA to expeditiously comply with my March 15 letter, and to provide a full account of” related surveillance activities.

Nunes’ discussion of the information being “incidentally collected” and then being widely distributed despite having little or no apparent foreign intelligence value highlights a reason to reject the common claim that people who have done nothing wrong have no reason to worry about mass surveillance. When you allow surveillance to run wild, then information that has nothing to do with the supposed purposes of the surveillance, such as protecting Americans from terrorist attacks, can be easily and frequently swept up and shared.

It is naïve to believe that none of the people who obtain the surveillance-derived information will then use it to their advantage, even if that results in harm to the people “incidentally” surveilled. It is also naïve to assume that surveillance efforts will not be adjusted here and there to make sure that more of the desired, but definable as “incidentally collected,” information is obtained and shared.

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity. Massie is a member of the Ron Paul Institute.

6 thoughts on “Intelligence Community Collected and Shared Information About Trump Transition People”

  1. It’s good to see a member of Congress backing the principle that laws & regulations should not be premised on the theory that Spooks with no oversite are always going to be apolitical paragons of virtue. One tiny, eeny, miny step for mankind…

  2. To the issue. It’s hard to imagine that a lot of spooks wouldn’t operate on their own as individuals against Trump. After all, anybody with any degree of intelligence at all would have been sh-t scared of the consequences of Trump becoming the president.

    This is likely what was going on, as opposed to any of the spook agencies as entities working against Trump and his people. Manafort alone would have been enough to scare a spook into investigating.

    Trump is a phenomenon that is going to make that kind of issue matter to individual personalities who are involved with their perception of what is good for their country.

    Obama was too for entirely different reasons that I would suggest weren’t nearly as legitimate. But nonetheless, important to some spooks.

    1. Scared of Trump? Clinton had a penchant for grandiosity (Bosnian sniper fire, and “We can We Saw He Died”) and suffered from “Vast Conspiracies” paranoia. She couldn’t even compose herself to concede the race in public on election night. It is not for the Bureaucracy to decide what is good for the country. They are in fact our servants NOT our rulers.

      Anyone not willing to serve the current or incoming administration is more than welcome to quit any of the services.

      1. Anybody who needs to summon up Hillary to defend Trump at this late date is full of sh-t.
        You’ve got yourselves a corporate psychopath as your president and the world is living in fear of him not playing with a full deck.

      2. Given an unlimited database on the people who would want me to follow their orders without question nor dissent, which of course I don’t have, I sure enough would gather as much of that information and have it locked and ready in case of a sudden need to defend myself and family next and if we bought enough time the rest of the country.

        Since no person is pure, neither would any organization be pure and those who gain political power usually do it because they wanted it in the first place. I don’t for an instant assume that either Hillary or Trump were in any way forced into “serving” as commander in chief, not conscripted in any way and their business ethics are very clouded.

        CiC is a very big temptation, they get the biggest part of the American budget and the budgets of our banana republic puppet dictatorships. NATO for instance. It’s very probable The Donald knows this, knows that’s one part of the budget over which the Commander In Chief would have the most unquestioned control, like which of his country club buddies will toss some graft his way in exchange for him tossing a bunch of military contracts their way. And I really don’t trust him. Oh, and the President and his Royal Court are no longer private citizens. Knowing what the hell they’re intending to do is the right of every citizen.

        If Donald and his minions don’t want to play by that rule, then they should resign en masse.

  3. Recent Wikileaks Vault 7 revelations included CIA policy recommendations to “minimize” snooping by technical staff on former girl friends, family members and acquaintances. Interestingly enough, it is not an offense that would result in immediate dismissal. Apparently, it is so easy to just sit at your desk, log in to the databases and snoop, that it is just assumed that many people would succumb to the temptation. (The IRS had similar problems in the past with tax records.)

    Privacy is dead. The 4th Amendment might as well be repealed.

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