NYTimes Op-Ed by Geof Stone and President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies
The United States and its allies face major national security threats, particularly from international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and cyberwarfare and espionage. Effective surveillance by the National Security Agency and other agencies within the intelligence community has helped to keep Americans safe from such threats. The nation will continue to need such protection in the future.
The five of us came from diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. After carefully reviewing the activities and culture of the intelligence community, we were all impressed with its commitment both to serve the nation and to act within the law. Our recommendations, as members of the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, appointed in August, are designed to strengthen the protection of privacy and civil liberties without compromising the central mission of the intelligence community.
Our major conclusion is that the nation needs a package of reforms that will allow the intelligence community to continue to protect Americans, as well as our friends and allies, while at the same time affirming enduring values, involving both privacy and liberty, that have made the United States a beacon of freedom to so much of the world. We made 46 recommendations to the president. We offer here a summary of 10 of our most significant conclusions, in the hope of explaining our reasoning to the American people and encouraging a public discussion of these vital issues.