President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies Report–“Liberty and Security in a Changing World”

Last week, we posted a link to the December 12 report by the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, entitled “Liberty and Security in a Changing World.”  The report set out recommendations for the Government with an eye toward striking the proper balance between respecting privacy and civil liberties and protecting national security interests.

According to the White House Blog:

The recommendations emphasize risk management and the need to balance a wide range of potential consequences, including both costs and benefits, in considering potential reforms. . . . Free nations must protect themselves, and nations that protect themselves must remain free.

Some of the recommendations offered by the report include:

  • A “series of significant reforms” with respect to the surveillance of U.S. persons, such as: (1) ending the storage of bulk telephony metadata and “transition[ing] to a system in which such metadata is held privately for the government to query when necessary for national security purposes”; (2) increasing the safeguards available to Americans against intrusion into their personal domain; and, (3) increased Government transparency and accountability.
  • “[S]ignificant steps” to protect non-U.S. person privacy, specifically, by requiring such surveillance programs to satisfy certain steps, as outlined in the report.
  • Organizational changes, such as requiring the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) to be a Senate-confirmed position for which civilians are eligible and separating the positions of head of Cyber Command and Director of NSA such that the “dual-hatted” position held by a single official is eliminated.
  • Increased efficacy of the Government personnel vetting system by, for example, at least minimizing and perhaps terminating the use of for-profit entities to conduct personnel investigations.
  • A series of statutory amendment suggestions regarding, largely, Section 215, as well as a series of recommended legislative enactments reflecting some of the aforementioned suggestions.

Again, you can read the full report here.

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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

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Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

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Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography