Daines Supports PATRIOT Act CIA Director
Senator’s Vote Could Pave the Way for Return of Bulk Data Collection, Unchecked Government Surveillance
HELENA — Senator Steve Daines today turned his back on Montanans’ right to privacy and invited the CIA to tap into the personal emails, text messages, phone calls, and Snapchats of law-abiding citizens.
Daines voted to confirm new CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who has long advocated for the re-establishment and expansion of the PATRIOT Act’s bulk metadata collection to build a secret government database where personal and lifestyle information of ordinary Montanans would be stored without consent.
“Senator Steve Daines had the chance to stand with Montanans and defend our right to privacy today but instead he chose to side with a man who wants to revive the Patriot Act’s mass government surveillance programs,” said Nancy Keenan, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party. “Next time you talk on your phone, remember that if Senator Daines’ pick has his way, your right to privacy could be violated.”
As a Congressman, Pompeo opposed Congress’ successful attempt to eliminate harmful provisions of the PATRIOT Act last Congress.
In fact, Pompeo wrote last year, “Congress should pass a law re-establishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database. Legal and bureaucratic impediments to surveillance should be removed.”
Montana’s senior U.S. Senator, Jon Tester, a staunch opponent of the PATRIOT Act, voted against Pompeo citing concerns over civil liberties.