Outsourcing intelligence, while not a recent phenomenon, has become more commonplace in the face of increased operations and fiscal pressure since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. While outsourcing has many benefits, it also brings certain general difficulties. As outsourcing decisions continue, it is critical that lawmakers understand the policy and legal implications of such choices.
Joel Brenner presents his critique of Professor Laura Donohue’s The Future of Foreign Intelligence, and its “full-throated denunciation of the entire legal framework regulating the government’s collection of data about American citizens and permanent residents.” He discusses her findings in detail, and in the end, finds that they both agree on a number of specific proposals, and “disagree profoundly on FISA’s rationale and constitutional limitations.”
The rich legal literature that has grown up to assess the constitutionality of bulk communications collection by the government has focused overwhelmingly—and understandably—on the challenge such programs pose to particular claims of individual right against the state, yet attempting to describe what seems troubling about bulk collection in terms of individual rights alone has significant doctrinal and conceptual limits.