The inauguration of President Agent Orange marked a disturbing escalation in a longstanding constitutional crisis. If our nation's intelligence apparatus once again grows politicized (as it was for 40 years under the corrupt reign of intimidation and terror over whch J. Edgar Hoover reigned), democracy could hang in the balance. As I explained in a blog post for EFF published days before Trump's inauguration:
Many Americans reacted to seemingly politicized FBI disclosures in the days before the 2016 presidential election with surprise. But the FBI has embroiled itself in partisan controversies since its very origins. From the Palmer Raids through the McCarthy era, from the Green Scare to its infiltration of labor organizing by farm workers, the FBI has a long history of investigating and undermining constitutional rights in the context of political movements.
Under Hoover’s direction, the FBI achieved its written goal: the "neutralization" of domestic social groups speaking out to advance their views as protected by the First Amendment. Hoover's FBI achieved its goals with a fraction of the budget, staff—and none of the computing power—of the FBI today.
These concerns are part of why the Electronic Frontier Alliance (a project I launched at EFF last year) has expanded across the country, generating opportunities in February alone to inform, inspire, and mobilize audiences in Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Washington DC, New York City, and Atlanta.