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While attending a national security forum in South Carolina, presidential hopeful Jeb Bush made it clear that he believes the government should have broad surveillance powers in order to fight “evildoers.” Bush criticized the recent changes to the Patriot Act which were passed by Congress in June. The changes in the law will lead to a phasing out of the bulk collection of phone records by the NSA over a six month period, to be replaced by a new program which requires the phone companies to store the records and only turn them over to the NSA if they obtain a specific warrant.

Bush had stated, “There’s a place to find common ground between personal civil liberties and NSA doing its job. I think the balance has actually gone the wrong way.” Bush’s opinion might seem a bit out of touch with his party, since it was the Republican controlled House and Senate which passed the reform bill. However, statements against the reform bill by politicians like Mitch McConnell and John McCain back when the bill was still being debated, suggests that there is still a core group within the Republican party which wants to see the Patriot Act restored in its entirety.

Bush also criticized technology companies who offer encryption, which makes it more difficult for their users to be spied on by the NSA, stating, “It makes it harder for the American government to do its job while protecting civil liberties to make sure evildoers aren’t in our midst.” Bush stated interest in creating a “new arrangement with silicon valley” regarding this issue. After recent leaks demonstrated the close working relationship between the NSA and telecommunications companies like AT&T, it seems Bush wants to create similar working relationships with companies who provide encrypted communications for their users.

Considering how the previous President Bush is not too fondly remembered, even among Republicans, it could be an unwise move for Jeb Bush to heavily push for increasing NSA surveillance. It would be very easy for opponents to draw comparisons between him and his brother on this issue.

Is Bush right, do we need to give the NSA more power to be safe? Leave your comments below.

Max Michael

Senior Writer

I’m a technology reporter located near the Innovation District of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.

  • Typical

    Yeah, we totally need another fascist Bush.

  • Audie Bakerson

    Another reason we don’t need political dynasties.

    Vote Paul.

  • eltonBorges

    OK, I’m not American and here in my country we don’t know how deep is the rabbit hole, but wow. Frankly, I don’t believe NSA would stop now just because of some pesky laws. When you get in touch with so much power, many just will not let it go.

  • Haze

    good thing, he’s being honest
    now people know who not to vote for

  • Ben Kuyt

    One thing Bush doesn’t understand about encryption is that isn’t not just for people who want government privacy. It’s also for people to protect themselves and/or their websites from people who would try to screw with them.

  • HisShadowX

    I am tired of these RINOs every time a Republican votes for a RINO aside form Bush they lose because like last election Republicans stay home.

  • Michael P

    LOL @ “Evildoers”, God I missed that Bush doublespeak!

    In all seriousness that word applies to that family as much as it does to muslim terrorists.

  • Iconoclast

    Classic big-govt neo con.

  • Cheri

    Establishment-supported goons are acting in contrast to the wishes of their constituents? Shocked

    Can’t stump the trump, can’t arson the carson, can’t ruse the cruz.