NSA, PRISM And Spying, Jeb Bush Wants More Of It And Less Encryption

Following the revelations from Edward Snowden that the U.S. has engaged in wide-scale surveillance programs that spy not only Americans, but also ally nations, many in the tech industry have called for even tougher software encryption to keep law enforcement and government agencies from overstepping their bounds with regards to citizens’ privacy.

“Technologists have worked tirelessly to re-engineer the security of the devices that surround us, along with the language of the Internet itself,” said Snowden in a June op-ed for The New York Times. “Secret flaws in critical infrastructure that had been exploited by governments to facilitate mass surveillance have been detected and corrected. Basic technical safeguards such as encryption — once considered esoteric and unnecessary — are now enabled by default in the products of pioneering companies like Apple, ensuring that even if your phone is stolen, your private life remains private.”

2016 Republican Presidentical Candidate Jeb Bush

While that may be music to the ears of Snowden, tech companies that are looking to safeguard their unwitting customers (and their own reputations) and privacy-conscious U.S. citizens, some aren’t so sure that increased encryption is the way to go. One such person is 2016 Presidential candidate Jeb Bush, younger brother to former President George W. Bush (and son of yet another former president, George H.W. Bush).

Speaking on the subject of encryption, Bush noted, "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 also contends that programs put in place by the National Security Agency (NSA) such as the bulk collection of cell phone data on Americans is actually a good thing (something that his fellow Republicans in Congress this year voted to terminate). Bush added that he has seen “no evidence” that surveillance tactics have violated civil liberties. In fact, Bush says that by ending bulk data collection, we’ve have gone completely overboard with our reaction to the program.

"There's a place to find common ground between personal civil liberties and NSA doing its job," said Bush. "I think the balance has actually gone the wrong way."

There’s no doubt that programs like PRISM would be welcomed with open arms by Bush — after all, “evildoers” must be stopped at all costs and anything that makes that task easier to accomplish is likely seen as an added bonus in his eyes.