First off, I want to say the following candidates are in no particular order. The ones that do know me, know I am not voting, and haven’t voted once my entire life. I have always felt the process was just for show, and that voting for the country’s president, or anything for that matter hasn’t been left up to the citizens of this country for a very long time. No man will ever lead me, as I lead myself. This is the way it has been, and will continue to be; at least for me.
Leading off the pack we have (R)Ben Carson. Ben weighs in rather indifferent to me. Despite the majority of the Republican opinion, Carson has been quoted many times condemning mass surveillance by saying the system was behind the times and outdated. Instead Carson would rather monitor only certain parts of the internet; Tor included.
“I think what we need to do is to monitor the internet. We need to monitor social media. I don’t see anything wrong with trying to block our enemy’s communication; being able to them and their servers.”
Carson also sided with the Supreme Court’s ruling on mass data gathering being an illegal act. Carson said, “Surreptitiously tracking phone calls, purchasing activity, web site visitation history, and a host of other activities is tantamount to the illegal search and seizure forbidden by the Fourth Amendment.”
Donald Trump is probably the most spotlighted Republican nominee running. Trump has a very different view on the subject of privacy. While not in favor of mass surveillance, he did propose to close down our internet to the enemies of the United States. “I would certainly be open to closing areas where we are at war with somebody. I sure as hell don’t want to let people that want to kill us and kill our nation use our internet.”
Trump has also come out and said that he is fine with restoring the Patriot Act; simply because he prioritizes security over privacy. “I assume when I pick up my telephone people are listening to my conversations anyway, if you want to know the truth. It’s pretty sad commentary, but I err on the side of security.”
Now we’re going to take a look at Democratic favorite Bernie Sanders. Bernie has been described as the most liberal Democratic candidate in the running. In 2001, Bernie voted against the original Patriot act. Once more in 2006 he voted against it. Similar to Bill Clinton, Bernie Sanders is somewhat vague on his position saying, “Privacy rights, it’s a huge issue. I am not comfortable with it; but we have to look at the best of bad situations.”
Sanders on the other hand, has made a few things clear. Privacy to him, is a top concern. He finds the current scope of spying unacceptable and said, “I’d shut down what exists right now – virtually every telephone call in this country ends up in a file at the NSA.”
Next up we’re looking at Gary Johnson. Like Paul, Johnsons is highly against any and all forms of government surveillance. Johnson also was against the Freedom Act. He believed it didn’t do anything to help progress the rights of the people of the United States. He also wasn’t in favor of the Patriot Act and opposes all forms of citizen surveillance saying “The greatest fear I have is that nothing will change. There is general apathy for what is happening because it’s not about ‘me’.”
Despite being one of the top conservative runners, Republican Candidate Ted Cruz has voiced his opinion on the NSA and the mass gathering of data. ““Hoarding tens of billions of records of ordinary citizens did not stop Fort Hood, it didn’t stop Boston, it didn’t stop Chattanooga, it didn’t stop Garland and it failed to detect the San Bernardino plotters.”
Highly in favor of the USA Freedom Act, stating that it is a big step in the right direction, offering a better, safer, and smarter way to collect data. He was one of only four republicans who voted in favor of a lighter, more regulated Freedom Act. This version of the act would have more targeted ways to surveil potential threats by requiring ISPs to keep logs of activity and not the government.
Ohio’s youngest senator in history is John Kasich. He is a longtime political veteran, and is also on the ballot. He disapproves of government snooping, but feels the NSA is a necessity but that it should be stronger regulated. “I’m not giving carte blanche to anybody in the federal government. There has to be rules, restrictions and regulations that restrain them.”
Kasich has said when speaking about the Freedom Act, that it is a step in the right direction. Obviously he voted against the Patriot act both in 2001 and once again in 2006.
Hillary Clinton can arguably be called the most disliked Democrat running for office, and is very on the fence it might seem. She doesn’t seem to take one side over the other when discussing these issues. She does however seem to have been rather straight forward about her thoughts on Edward Snowden. “He broke the laws of the United States. He could have been a whistleblower. He could have gotten all of the protections of being a whistleblower. He could have raised all the issues that he has raised. I think there would have been a positive response to that.”
Hillary voted in favor of the Patriot Act in both 2001 and 2006 and was in favor of the Freedom Act. She has been quoted as saying “Well, I think the NSA needs to be more transparent about what it is doing, sharing with the American people, which it wasn’t. And I think a lot of the reaction about the NSA, people felt betrayed. They felt, wait, you didn’t tell us you were doing this. And all of a sudden now, we’re reading about it on the front page.”
Marco Rubio is on Jeb Bush’s side of the road on this. “The US cannot afford to ignore another lesson of 9/11 and curtail intelligence-gathering capabilities.” Rubio wants to extend the government’s power when it comes to spying and surveillance. Marco Rubio voted against the Freedom Act, feeling that it didn’t go far enough. He would also like to see the Patriot Act back in effect.
This issue doesn’t get a lot of attention when the candidates cover where they stand on things, so I wanted to make it more clear, in case anyone was wondering. The primary vision behind Tor and dark net is simply to protect our freedom. The individual chooses what they do on Tor, not Tor itself.