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Jeb Bush says the NSA isn't powerful enough

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Jeb Bush says the National Security Agency should not have its powers scaled back, the Associated Press reports. But encryption by private technology companies like Google, Bush suggests, is a threat to national security.

"I think the balance has actually gone the wrong way."

"There's a place to find common ground between personal civil liberties and NSA doing its job," Bush said, according to comments he made yesterday at a forum reported on by the AP. "I think the balance has actually gone the wrong way." Bush says a recent change to the Patriot Act that ordered a stop to the bulk collection of Americans' phone records was misguided; there was "no evidence," he says, that the surveillance violated civil liberties.

Bush also suggested that encryption by private companies, which high-profile law enforcement officials have fought against, "makes it harder for the American government to do its job while protecting civil liberties to make sure evildoers aren't in our midst."

The comments are not a complete surprise. Bush has already been vocal in his support for the NSA, and with the exception of Rand Paul, many GOP presidential hopefuls have taken similar positions.