In a last-minute move to unchain NSA surveillance, Obama just approved an existing executive order, this will allow the NSA to share the data that it collects on citizens amongst all 16 agencies in the United States Intelligence community. Obama was blasted by Snowden for creating the unprecedented power. Snowden made a tweet stating that “As he hands the White House to Trump, Obama just unchained NSA from basic limits on passing raw intercepts to others.”
Obama approved the 23-pages of new guidelines that lifts the previous limits that were placed on the way NSA information could be shared amongst the other 15 U.S. intelligence agencies. This implies that the NSA is free to share intelligence information legally with agencies such as the FBI and CIA.
The direct purpose of the Executive Order 12333 is to target foreign and counterintelligence if any agency discovers information that incriminates any American citizen, this will allow the agency to turn the evidence over to the Justice Department. The provisions that are employed while targeting American citizens have been redacted, implying that the extent to which this order can be employed remains a mystery.
Robert S. Litt who’s James Clapper’s general counsel made a statement on behalf of Clapper saying that, “This is not expanding the substantive ability of law enforcement to get access to signals intelligence. It is simply widening the aperture for a larger number of analysts, who will be bound by the existing rules.”
Since the Republicans have control of the U.S. House and Senate, President-elect Donald Trump could expand these powers to alter the FISA Act even more. Despite the fact that expanded powers are challenged, Republicans are expected to dominate the new Supreme Court. It’s no surprise since Trumps pick for general, Senator Jeff Sessions, and the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo have both called for extensive domestic government spying. It remains a mystery as to why Obama unhinged the NSA for Trump, yet he is distressed about his presidency.