Dubious Privacy Policy: Facebook Hires NSA Mass Surveillance Architect

by Albert Kim
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The recent news about Facebook latest recruitment moves dramatically contradict Mark Zukerberg’s promises to improve the privacy policy. These sentiments come after the market-leading social network hired Jenifer Newstead as their general counsel who happens to be the co-author of the Patriot Act that gives the US government unlimited power to snoop.

Simply put, the NSA mass surveillance architect has access to one of the biggest personal data store in the world and this should ring “strange” bells to the platform user. This should be a real concern for every Facebook goers across the globe.

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Brianna Wu, a Twitter goer noted on 23 April:

According to 2013 expose by Edward Snowden, Patriot Act gives the National Security Agency (NSA) right to collect data and phone records from all US citizens. The hire contradicts Zuckerberg promise on improving the security of personal data.

About Jennifer Newstead

Newstead’s resume includes her role at the Justice Department, the White House and her recent appointment by the Trump administration. It is a summary of her day to day management of the Patriot Act.

According to the Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, through a Facebook press release:

“Jennifer is a seasoned leader whose global perspective and experience will help us fulfill our mission.”

The strange thing is that the press release did not mention Newstead’s involvement in the Patriots Act. The Act has been viewed as a piece of legislation that does not respect personal privacy.

A bush administration officer, John Yoo adds that the new Facebook counsel as the day-to-day manager of the Patriot Act in Congress.” On their working relationship, Yoo adds; “Together, we worked on briefing Hill staff on the constitutionality of the Patriot Act.”

The move has been criticized by social media goers as Tonya Riley writes:

Tonya Riley


Tapping the architect of the Patriot Act in the midst of massive privacy criticism seems like a very dumb move https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2019/04/newstead-and-pinette-join-facebook/ …

11:59 PM – Apr 22, 2019

According to the press release, Newstead joins the organization as the General Counsel and John Pinette will be the new Vice president of Global Communications. However, when she was appointed to the Justice Department in 2002, the position role was clear cut:

“Helping craft the new U.S.A. Patriot Act to protect the United States against terror.”

The Patriot Act was hurriedly constituted immediately after the 9/11 terror attack. In a nutshell, the Act stands for “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act”.

Edward Snowden, a whistleblower revelation indicates that the acts give NSA excessive powers to snoop thus;

Section 215 – Allowing the government to force companies to turn over data on those suspected of terrorism. This provision allowed the NSA to gather phone records from almost every customer at companies like Verizon.

Section 206 – Allowing the government to tap communications devices (phones, laptops, etc.) with relatively easy approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

National Security Letters Program – Allowing the government to demand communications records with no court approval.

Why is Newstead appointment Strange

The council was among the team that crafted the NSA mass surveillance. Newstead helped in creating an abusive and personal privacy intrusive act that was meant to counter terrorism that still exists. Caption this:

Pedagogues Tekhnoethicasaurus💡


Sheryl: Our lack of business ethics is getting bad press. Know a lawyer?

Zuck: Who wrote the Patriot Act?

Sheryl: Jennifer Newstead

Zuck: Hire her

Seven months down the line

Zuck before Congress: I was too slow to realize unconstitutional surveillance was bad. For that, I apologize…

Zack Whittaker


This is Jennifer Newstead, just named Facebook’s top lawyer.

Facebook has received thousands of requests in accordance with the act. A total of 42,466 data requests from US authorities in the first half of 2018 alone. In 2017, 45,000 Facebook account details were requested.

Newstead coming onboard at Facebook continues to send shivers down many social media and Facebook spines.  Putting the Patriot Act architect in charge of the largest Personal data silo is stranger than fiction.

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