Until the Paris and San Bernardino terror attacks, the presidential candidates in this election cycle largely avoided discussing cybersecurity, surveillance, and civil liberties, focusing largely on immigration, the economy, and a surplus of personal attacks.
Since then, the remaining candidates have laid out strong positions with Donald Trump condemning Apple for resisting the government’s attempts to recruit its help at cracking open the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters. And Hillary Clinton has urged Silicon Valley giants such as Facebook and Twitter to do more to combat the recruiting of terrorists on social media by ISIS and other extremist groups. Bernie Sanders has strongly opposed the NSA’s metadata surveillance program revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden.
This is the first election since Snowden’s disclosures in 2013 sparked a national debate on the proper balance between security and civil liberties.