Jennifer Newstead, a Trump appointee who served in the Justice Department under President Bush, will soon be taking over as general counsel of Facebook, the company announced in a press release Monday afternoon. Newstead will take over from Colin Stretch, who announced plans to retire last year.
“Jennifer is a seasoned leader whose global perspective and experience will help us fulfill our mission,” Sheryl Sandberg said in a statement included with the release.
But many are already troubled by Newstead’s history lobbying and legislating for more powerful electronic surveillance. As The Hill points out, a 2002 Justice Department press release describes her as “helping craft” the legislation. Notorious Bush administration lawyer John Yoo described her as the “day-to-day manager of the Patriot Act in Congress” in his 2006 book.
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Passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the Patriot Act greatly expanded the scope of the government’s surveillance powers, enabling new techniques like roving wiretaps and so-called “sneak-and-peek” warrants. Section 215 of the Patriot Act was used to justify the