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Worries and uncertainty cloud outlook for digital privacy under President Trump

Michael Kan | Nov. 11, 2016
Some legal experts are worried Trump could abuse the NSA's surveillance powers, but we just don't know

“The Democratic administration has been pretty bad. So has the previous Republican administration,” Edelson said. “I don’t think it will be any worse under a Trump administration.”

However, Edelson is concerned that Trump's pro-business stances will strip away cybersecurity and data privacy regulations meant to protect consumers. “Nobody in my industry views Trump as pro-regulator. We think he has more of a pro-business agenda,” he said.

It’s also possible that political issues involving privacy and cybersecurity will take a backseat during a Trump presidency. His campaign never made those matters a priority, said John Dickson, a principal at security provider Denim Group and a former U.S. Air Force officer.

“I think he’ll have a real learning curve,” Dickson said, adding that Trump may also have to repair relationships in the U.S. intelligence community. During his campaign, he questioned whether Russia was truly behind several high-profile hacks on Democratic targets, which U.S. intelligence agencies had publicly blamed on the Kremlin.

“He’s not the biggest expert in this policy area,” Dickson said. However, once Trump begins appointing members of his cabinet, the public will gain a better idea of the incoming president’s approach, he said.

 

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