David Kris examines recent developments in foreign intelligence surveillance, including the impact of the Snowden leaks and the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on public and political attitudes towards electronic surveillance. In light of these developments, Kris presents several issues that he expects will surface as the 2017 expiration date of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act (FAA) draws near. He also addresses the longer-term impacts that other political and technological developments will have on foreign surveillance.
Nathan Sales poses the question whether technology could have played a preventative role in the recent wave of security leaks. He first reviews the existing legal frameworks for adjudicating cases of criminal security leaks, and he finds only limited utility in these paradigms. He then proposes a technological supplement to these frameworks, an alternative he finds useful only for select categories of leaks.
George Ellard, the National Security Agency’s Inspector General, provides his insight into the true damage caused by the Snowden disclosures, with comparisons to both recent and distant past leaks.
David Cole, expanding on his recent piece in The New York Review of Books, considers the perpetrators of the major intelligence leaks currently dominating the headlines: Edward Snowden, Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning, and Julian Assange. Cole reviews the actions and avowed motivations of these individuals—noting their similarities and differences—while subjecting each situation to legal analysis. Cole acknowledges the complex justifications on all sides, ultimately drawing out complicated questions of civic responsibility on the part of leakers and American society.
The author reflects on a symposium panel discussion on “Swimming in the Ocean of Big Data: National Security in the Age of Unlimited Information” that occurred before the Snowden disclosures. He analyzes the panel discussion in context of the time at which it occurred and compares it to what has become known since June 2013. The article then focuses on the path to reform, specifically by focusing attention on the strengths and weaknesses of data collection by both the public and private sectors.