Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) issued one final warning to the American people about the FBI before vacating his seat for South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy. Now, Chaffetz’s warning is sending out a shockwave over the internet as he goes out on a limb to make people aware of what the FBI is doing to innocent law-abiding citizens.
According to the SGT Report, Chaffetz made his startling warning during one of his final days in Congress while he was questioning acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard Downing. Downing, who works for the Department of Justice, was present to answer questions on the FBI’s secret collection of facial recognition data. Chaffetz created the opportunity for his warning by asking Downing a question to which he already knew the answer. Watch as the former House Intel Chairman expresses his distrust for the FBI and its unconstitutional behavior.
Chaffetz starts off by laying the premise for his warning by addressing Downing directly, “Mr. Downing, I think it’s important for us to understand sort of the baseline because if we’re going to try to do things in other countries, I’m still concerned about what we do and don’t do in this country.”
After this brief introduction to lead Downing in the desired direction, Chaffetz asks, “First, help me understand about geolocation. What is the Department of Justice’s position on geolocation? My concern and question for you is, does the Department of Justice consider that metadata? Or is that content? How do you view geolocation?”
Downing responds, “Geolocation is a difficult and complex topic as I’m sure we understand it. We’ve had discussions about this in the past as well. There are different kinds of geolocation that could be content or could be non-content. It could be content if say the location data that’s embedded inside of a picture file and is passed as part of an attachment to an email. It could be non-content if it’s simply information the provider is gathering about its customer’s use of cell towers. It doesn’t have any contentful value in that situation. It’s simply an observation of the company about which tower a particular phone is pinging off of when it’s being used.”
The collection of geolocation data by the FBI is important because it directly involves intruding on the constitutional rights of Americans to privacy. Chaffetz moves the Assistant Attorney General along to his warning for the American people.
Chaffetz said, “And the last thing I want to ask you about is facial recognition, we know the Department of Justice, specifically the FBI is building a database of facial recognition. What direction is this going? Where are the standards? What is happening or not happening in the building of the facial recognition database.”
Downing dodged the question when he said, “I’m not intimately familiar with what the FBI is doing in that regard. My general impression is that they are developing a database similar as they would with fingerprints and other things of people who were of interest in an investigation who were arrested in order to better use.” This is when Chaffetz cuts him off and basically tells him he is full of it.
“That is not what they’re doing! If they were looking at criminals, people who were incarcerated, people who committed crimes, that would be one thing. But, what they’re doing is, now more than 1 out of every 2 members of our society are in the database or they have access to that database I should say. Because they’re proactively going and gathering all the facial, all the pictures that are on driver’s licenses. A lot of states have MOU’s with these states and they were supposed to, the FBI was supposed to provide some notification. They didn’t do that and the big question is, look, I have a fundamental problem and challenge in taking innocent-suspicionless Americans and building a database because we’ve shown, we can’t protect our databases,” Chaffetz said in the footage also posted to Before It’s News.
He went on to tell the committee that although he is no longer going to be around, this is one of the most important issues that needs to be investigated. Chaffetz knew where he was going with his line of questioning and used this opportunity to warn the American people about the FBI’s facial recognition data collection program.
It seems as if the deep state just keeps rolling over our constitutional rights regardless of what president is in office, and this practice needs to be stopped. Many of us are looking forward to President Donald Trump’s new FBI Director taking the reins at the bureau because it could mean the beginning of a higher level of accountability for our out of control intelligence community.