Big Tech Needs to Outline its China Strategy

Last Wednesday afternoon, the CEOs of America’s largest tech companies faced a round of questioning from lawmakers in Washington, DC. While the hearings form part of an ongoing antitrust investigation, they risk overlooking how international actors, like unscrupulous Chinese entities, take advantage of American corporations and threaten consumers’ interests. In addition to questions about the […]

The Public Needs a Seat at the National Security Table

Bulk surveillance of American’s telecommunications services by the National Security Agency (NSA) was, according to some, authorized in the Patriot Act Section 215 and was monitored by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).  But, the Second Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Section 215 of the Patriot Act does not permit NSA […]

Rigidity in Privacy, Transparency and Security

There are persisting frictions among the public and policymakers regarding three privacy orientations: those who rank privacy above security, those who rank transparency of information above privacy, and those who rank security above privacy. These tribal orientations cannot be localized into “no go” neighborhoods, so we cannot “opt out” from the consequences of each orientation. The […]

National Security Abuses the Futility of Oversight Boards

We now know NSA and other federal agencies routinely database domestic telephone metadata, full content of foreign calls, postal sender-recipient data and full content of email involving a foreign address.  It is unclear where domestic drone video and spy satellite products are kept.  Whenever that depth of coverage is insufficient, federal agencies can claim espionage […]

For Pragmatists, the 4th Amendment Is Essential

Our intelligence armory contains impressive tools for capturing, storing, and interpreting communications among bad guys and good guys.  Many of those highly advanced systems were built following the national anguish over intelligence failures leading to Sept 11, 2001. The Patriot Act is a tool for NSA and other agencies to empower themselves with the latest […]