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Fentanyl Fear Factor: White House Leverages Drug Scare to Push for Controversial Surveillance Powers

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, join Reclaim The Net.

In a recent public appeal, the Biden administration has urged the reauthorization Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) before it expires on April 19. Bill Burns, the CIA Director, issued a statement, alleging the significant role of the FISA powers in fighting threats against national security, especially the illicit trafficking of fentanyl into the United States.

Burns highlighted the gravity of the fentanyl threat, saying, “The threat to the US posed by fentanyl and other synthetic opioids is real. Section 702 is an essential tool in CIA’s mission to protect the American people from a range of threats, including illicit fentanyl trafficking. Without this vital program, CIA simply would not be able to defend our country as effectively in as many dangerous corners of the world.”

Echoing the CIA Director’s stance, the White House has also underlined the importance of the reauthorization bill in ensuring national security. National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby further stressed the significance of bipartisan support for this endeavor. He stated, “Obviously we strongly support the bipartisan effort to get 702 reauthorized. It is vital to our ability to defend ourselves, defend … the American people, and we very much want to see it move forward — get extended and move forward.”

It’s worth noting that Section 702 of FISA authorizes US government officials to collect electronic communications without needing a warrant. This provision has been a point of contention, with privacy advocates arguing that it infringes on personal freedom.

This tactic of using big, scary problems to justify sweeping surveillance powers is quite common in debates about national security. While it’s understandable to want strong measures to combat real threats, this approach raises big red flags about personal privacy and government overreach.

Clearly, not needing a warrant to snoop on people’s communications could easily be abused. Without these safeguards, there’s too much room for the government to overstep. Plus, by framing the surveillance as essential for stopping things like drug trafficking, the government sort of makes these issues the scapegoats. This simplifies complex issues and makes it seem okay to sacrifice our privacy for security.

There’s also a risk that once the government gets these powers for one reason, they’ll find it easy to use them for others or keep them forever under the guise of always needing more security. This could lead us down a path where being watched all the time just becomes a normal part of life.

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, join Reclaim The Net.

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