Transparency and Surveillance

By Paul Rosenzweig
Friday, August 2, 2013, 10:49 AM

Tim Edgar has a unique perspective on national security surveillance.  He's an ACLU lawyer who went to work for the White House and did intelligence law from the inside.  Now he is out again (at Brown) and his op-ed in today's Wall St. Journal advocates for greater transparency.  Here's a taste:

The intelligence community believes that it protects the public from dire threats, subject to strict oversight. Indeed, it was career national-security lawyers who were most disturbed by President George W. Bush's detour into executive unilateralism and warrantless wiretapping. They breathed a sigh of relief when that era came to an end. Following an intense and highly classified dialogue in which I participated during the latter half of the Bush administration, the intelligence community persuaded the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to authorize bulk collection of phone records while putting these activities under a robust and highly detailed set of privacy and civil-liberties constraints.