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The Digital Age

The Briefing: Secrecy and Accountability in a Digital Age

by Peter Berkowitzvia The Briefing
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Edward Snowden's theft of massive numbers of National Security Agency (NSA) documents — the Pentagon estimates he copied 1.7 million intelligence files — and the distribution of those documents to journalists who have sporadically published them has damaged American national s

The Digital Age

Intelligence Reform: Life Imitates Fiction

by Benjamin Wittesvia The Briefing
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

We all know the story: A liberal government finds itself embarrassed by intelligence collection activities. So it appoints a senior panel of Wise Men to recommend reforms.

The Digital Age

A Partial Defense of the Front-Page Rule

by Jack Goldsmithvia The Briefing
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Principals reviewing intelligence collection should reinstitute use of the so-called "Front-Page Rule," said President Obama's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technol

The Digital Age

Publicly Defending Secret Intelligence Programs

by Matthew Waxmanvia The Briefing
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The government often does a poor job of defending its most secret intelligence programs when they become public through leaks.  There are some obvious and largely structural reasons for this, including that the agencies conducting the programs are not designed for public relat

Global  Connections
The Digital Age

Accountability in a Globalized World

by Shavit Matias via The Briefing
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

There is clearly an obligation of accountability by states to their own citizens.


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This recurring series of brief essays is the work of the Jean Perkins Task Force on National Security and Law.   While the members do not necessarily agree on a solution or set of solutions, they do share a sensibility that questions of security and questions of law are increasingly intertwined and that the Constitution provides a sturdy and flexible framework that enables the nation to provide for its defense while securing citizens’ rights and respecting international law.