The National Security Agency Debate: The Future of U.S. Surveillance Authorities
In light of the information leaked by Edward Snowden, the Obama administration declassified a large amount of information related to surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and the president called for the end of the bulk telephony metadata program. Congress has also taken up proposals to limit and reform the government’s surveillance powers. Against the backdrop of these changes, does the United States need more reform to its surveillance authorities? How much more should happen, and in which areas?
On June 5, the anniversary of the first Snowden disclosures, Governance Studies at Brookings held a debate on the future of U.S. intelligence collection authorities. The resolution was “U.S. surveillance authorities require fundamental reform.” Arguing in favor were Jameel Jaffer of the ACLU and Julian Sanchez of the CATO Institute. Arguing in opposition were John “Chris” Inglis, former NSA deputy director, and Carrie Cordero, director of national security studies at Georgetown Law. Brookings Senior Fellow Benjamin Wittes moderated the event.
The event was part of a Brookings series tied to the one-year anniversary of Edward Snowden’s National Security Agency revelations, and an ongoing research agenda that examines the domestic and international dimensions of how new technology, security and privacy intersect. Learn about Part One: International Implications.
“The 21st century has revalued these small geographies. That’s what the 21st century demands,” Katz said, noting that these days, “[w]e aren’t innovating in isolated business parks” in the suburbs.