Perhaps the Administration’s latest dust up about the shocking NSA program of collecting phone records from Verizon and data from the country’s most prominent technology companies would not be as troubling had it not been on the heels of the IRS 501(c)4 scandal. But it does come just weeks after it was disclosed that the Obama Administration was targeting individual taxpayers and Tea Party groups for increased scrutiny. And we do know that the government collected nearly three billion pieces of information out of U.S. sources in the month of March alone.
What we don’t know is exactly what the Administration is doing with all of this excess information about the private lives of its citizens. The Obama campaign has always been a political marvel due to its ability to use data to micro-target voters. But, what if the administration had access to the most private data of its citizens? Oh, wait it does. Is it possible that any of this data from Boundless Informant found its way into the campaign’s databases?
This concern is especially relevant given the massive revolving door between the White House policy shop (e.g., Stephanie Cutter, David Plouffe, and David Axelrod) and his campaign. It’s not unfair to wonder if any of the data migrated from the White House policy shop to the campaign, and by extension, to the newly-formed
Obama Organizing for America.
It appears that Obama took a sharp turn towards increased surveillance shortly after being elected president. Now even his friends on the left are questioning his motives, with Daily Beast columnists Daniel Klaidman and Eli Lake asserting that “The president has evolved from ardent civil libertarian to surveillance hardliner.” The same story quoted hardline liberal Al Gore calling the blanket surveillance program “outrageous.”
During Obama’s first four years in office he eroded the public trust in government to almost an all-time low, and this Pew study was conducted before these major scandals hit nearly simultaneously. With the country’s most prominent liberals starting to claw back the benefit of the doubt here, one has to ask how far did this president go to win?