February 6, 2016

Senator Grassley says private communications aren’t really private

The director of the CIA resigned last week, in part, due to the FBI reading his emails and learning of an affair. A longtime critic of the FBI, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the whole episode with retired Army General David Petraeus should be a reminder to everyone that our private communications really aren’t likely all that private.

“Anything that I put on my iPhone or Blackberry, I guess I just figure it’s all going public,” Grassley says. “I wouldn’t be surprised but what the FBI’s listening in to this phone call. Whether they have a legal right to do it or not, I don’t know. I presume they wouldn’t be doing anything that’s not legal.”

Grassley, a Republican, says the climate of our nation’s capitol has forced him to take a mindset that leans more to the paranoid.

“If the FBI’s not spying on me, probably the Russian embassy and the Chinese embassy is as well,” Grassley says. “Everything you do here in Washington, you’ve just got to consider it’s public.”

Under federal law, the FBI needs a judge’s approval on a warrant to monitor recent communications. Agents only need a prosecutor’s okay, not a judge, to read electronic messages that are at least six months old.

Print pagePDF pageEmail page