Biden executive order allows spying on Americans to assess ‘political instability,’ climate ‘threats’ by Emily Mangiaracina for Life Site News
The executive order provides a kind of legal ‘backdoor’ to surveillance of Americans under extremely broad pretexts.
President Joe Biden issued an executive order (EO) that allows the government to spy on Americans for broadly defined reasons including understanding “public health risks,” “political instability,” and the “threat” of climate change.
The October 7 EO is ostensibly written to “enhanc[e] safeguards” for “United States Signals Intelligence Activities,” which is intelligence gathering by the interception of signals, including communications, such as through cell phones, or those not used in communication.
An accompanying fact sheet explains that the EO is meant to help “implement the U.S. commitments under the European Union-U.S. Data Privacy Framework (EU-U.S. DPF)” in an effort to “restore trust and stability” to transatlantic data flows. Thus, both Europeans and Americans are subject to the EO’s provisions.
The EO attempts to allay civil liberties concerns by explicitly prohibiting signals intelligence collection for the purposes of “suppressing or burdening criticism or dissent,” for example. However, the stated “legitimate objectives” of such signals intelligence collection opens the door to an extremely broad array of permitted reasons for interception — in other words, spying — by the U.S. government.
Alongside permitting spying for the purposes of sizing up the capabilities of foreign entities, the EO permits signals intelligence collection for “understanding or assessing transnational threats that impact global security, including climate and other ecological change, public health risks, humanitarian threats, political instability, and geographic rivalry.”
The document’s lack of elaboration on such so-called “transnational threats” raises the question of the true scope of activity now officially subject to spying by the U.S. government, which is potentially massive.
Assessing the “threat” of climate change, for example, could theoretically include collecting satellite signals to track the car travel of Americans and Europeans since car emissions are considered by climate activists to be one of the top sources of greenhouse gases.