Updated 12:25 p.m.
Mike Pompeo, the man that President-elect Donald Trump chose on Friday to lead the CIA when he becomes president, has long been a vocal supporter of expanding the government’s surveillance powers.
As Congress worked to wind down the National Security Agency’s bulk data-collection program last summer, rolling back one of the secret measures first authorized under President George W. Bush, Pompeo—a Republican representative from Kansas who sits on the House Intelligence Committee—was pushing back.
In an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal this January, Pompeo argued forcefully against “blunting” the government’s surveillance powers and called for “a fundamental upgrade to America’s surveillance capabilities.” In the piece, he laid out a road map for expanding surveillance:
Congress should pass a law re-establishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database. Legal and bureaucratic impediments to surveillance should be removed. That includes Presidential Policy Directive-28, which bestows privacy rights on foreigners and imposes burdensome requirements to justify data collection.
In a break with other national-security hawks, however, Pompeo wrote that mandating backdoors that would allow the government to access encrypted communications would “do little good.” He argued, as most technologists who promote encryption do, that weakening digital security in the United States would just push bad actors to switch to foreign-made or homegrown software.