NSA won’t go “dark”

Read few comments.

Questions:

1. Would you say that the situation around the NSA somehow profoundly limits the work of NSA? President Barack Obama says he doesn’t want to be in a situation where the authorities go “dark”.

2. Is the Freedom Act a right solution?

Answers:

Fred Cate, Distinguished Professor and C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law, Director , Center for Information Privacy and Security, Indiana University Bloomington

1. The section 215 program has involved the phone companies providing the NSA with metadata about phone calls that they already collect. With the expiration of that program, the phone companies will continue to collect that data because they have business reasons to do so, but just won’t be providing it to the NSA.

Assuming the Congress passes some version of the Freedom Act, which I suspect will happen within the next few days, instead of collecting and storing the metadata from the phone companies, the NSA will make specific requests for data to the companies as needed.

2. I suspect that a few days’ interruption in the NSA’s access to the data poses little risk to national security, because the data will still be there to be queried in the future once a new legal structure is put in place.

The Freedom Act is not a perfect solution, but it has the great advantage of injecting nongovernmental third parties (i.e., phone companies) into the NSA’s access to metadata. The phone companies have a significant business incentive to ensure that the law is being followed; they thus provide an additional form of oversight over the government’s activities.

Dorothy DenningDistinguished Professor of Defense Analysis, Naval Postgraduate School

My general understanding is that the Freedom Acr would limit the NSA’s bulk phone metadata collection, but renew other elements of the Patriot Act. But regardless, NSA won’t go “dark.”  I don’t think foreign data collection is affected much.

 

 

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