Latest in National Security Letters

Internet Metadata Collection

The President's Speech and PPD-28: A Guide for the Perplexed

President Obama's speech on Friday and its accompanying Presidential Policy Directive (PDD-28) cover a lot of ground, announce a bunch of reforms, announce plans and direction for more, and kick still others over to Congress. The speech contained a surprisingly fierce defense of NSA, one that some of the agency's critics appear not to have noticed.

Secrecy: FOIA

D.C. Circuit: OLC Opinion on Exigent Letters Exempted from FOIA

Today, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit rejected an important Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") lawsuit brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  The group had sought disclosure of a 2010 Office of Legal Counsel opinion dealing with the FBI's use of national security letters in the wake of 9/11.

FISA: 215 Collection

Part II: Observations on Selected Surveillance Review Group Themes

Yesterday, I raised issues regarding the review group’s process and deliberations. Today’s post focuses on several of the major themes of the report. Tomorrow’s third, and final, post will address what may be the review group’s most important recommendation to protect national security.

There is much to commend in the review group report’s high-level discussion of security and liberty, and description of the historical context of national security surveillance.

Cybersecurity

Too Much and Too Little

With the release of the Report and Recommendations of the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies reporters and commentators have scrambled to make sense of the 308 pages of relatively arcane and often vague language.  In doing so many have missed the forest for the trees and equally often, confused those recommendations that are headline grabbing with those that are likely to have the greatest impact.

The issue that has most dominated commentary is of course the so-called “termination” of the telephone metadata program.  This isn’t altogether surprisin

FISA: Reform

Assessing the Review Group Recommendations: Part I

The report of the President’s Review Group on NSA matters has already received widespread attention, some of it high altitude, some of it more granular. It’s an ambitious document, both conceptually and in the sheer number of recommendations it makes---some of which contemplate reforms of great significance.

In this set of posts, I want to assess the pros and cons of each and every one of the group's 46 recommendations, which to my mind are a very mixed bag and of wildly differing merit.

Surveillance

President's Surveillance Review Panel Releases Findings

The Report and Recommendations of the President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies has been released. The panel consists of the following members:

Richard A. Clarke Michael J. Morell Geoffrey R. Stone Cass R. Sunstein Peter Swire

Copied below the fold are the group's executive summary and recommendations on how to reform the NSA's surveillance and collection practices.

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