President Joe Biden’s handlers quietly had him sign an executive order late Friday evening when no one was looking that demolishes what is left of Americans’ constitutional protections against unauthorized government intrusion into their lives.
In particular, Biden’s order repeals the restrictions placed upon signals intelligence collection — that is, electronic spying — that were actually put in place by his former running mate, Barack Obama, and as is typical with Democrats, the language of the order is completely contradictory to what the order actually does:
The Executive Order of October 7, 2022 (Enhancing Safeguards for United States Signals Intelligence Activities), establishes enhanced safeguards for United States signals intelligence activities that supersede the safeguards for personal information collected through signals intelligence established by Presidential Policy Directive 28 of January 17, 2014 (Signals Intelligence Activities) (PPD-28)
There are no “enhanced safeguards.” Rather, the guardrails have been removed.
Here is what Obama’s order established:
The collection of signals intelligence shall be authorized by statute or Executive Order, proclamation, or other Presidential directive, and undertaken in accordance with the Constitution and applicable statutes, Executive Orders, proclamations, and Presidential directives.
(b) Privacy and civil liberties shall be integral considerations in the planning of U.S. signals intelligence activities. The United States shall not collect signals intelligence for the purpose of suppressing or burdening criticism or dissent, or for disadvantaging persons based on their ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. Signals intelligence shall be collected exclusively where there is a foreign intelligence or counterintelligence purpose to support national and departmental missions and not for any other purposes. [Emphasis added]
(c) The collection of foreign private commercial information or trade secrets is authorized only to protect the national security of the United States or its partners and allies. It is not an authorized foreign intelligence or counterintelligence purpose to collect such information to afford a competitive advantage to U.S. companies and U.S. business sectors commercially.
(d) Signals intelligence activities shall be as tailored as feasible. In determining whether to collect signals intelligence, the United States shall consider the availability of other information, including from diplomatic and public sources. Such appropriate and feasible alternatives to signals intelligence should be prioritized.
That actually seems pretty reasonable — following the Constitution even if/when the electronic eavesdropping was authorized via executive order (could it be this was the precursor to spying on Trump?).
Meanwhile, Biden’s order states: “The Executive Order establishes enhanced safeguards in recognition that signals intelligence activities must be conducted in a manner that takes into account that all persons should be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their nationality or wherever they might reside, and that all persons have legitimate privacy interests in the handling of their personal information.
“In addition, signals intelligence activities present the potential for national security damage if improperly disclosed. Therefore, it is essential to maintain the policy process refined by section 3 of PPD-28 and supplemented by the classified annex to PPD-28, under which national security policymakers consider carefully the value of signals intelligence activities to our national interests and the risks entailed in conducting those activities,” the order adds, before going on to repeal most of PPD-28.
“Revocation. PPD-28 is hereby revoked except for sections 3 and 6 of that directive and the classified annex to that directive, which remain in effect,” Biden’s order states.
Why repeal this? And why do it now? What is coming down the pipe from the regime? Is Biden planning on ramping up spying on certain figures in support of the war in Ukraine? Or — more likely — is the regime planning to start spying on political opponents inside the country, otherwise known as “Republican voters?”
If we had to bet, we’d say the latter. Otherwise, there is no reason to touch PPD-28.