We need effective oversight of intelligence programs because intelligence programs cannot be effective without a significant degree of secrecy. For intelligence programs, there is some point at which transparency must give way, and beyond that point, effective oversight is the bulwark that keeps the government in check.
While the release of ODNI's new “implementation plan” may seem at first blush to be a minor bureaucratic event, it is a welcome development for several reasons.
The intelligence community has no set of general principles for judging the privacy impact of their programs. Some privacy scholars believe that the Fair Information Protection Principles (FIPPs) serve this purpose and can apply to intelligence programs as they do to myriad other government programs. The NSA itself said in a recent report on collection under Executive Order 12333 that it was applying the FIPPs for the first time.