RELEASE: CAP Offers Recommendations for Adapting to the Future of Intelligence Gathering

Washington, D.C. – In the wake of renewed interests in the activities of the National Security Agency, the Center for American Progress released a report today examining our nation’s need to update online privacy laws and address the privatization of intelligence gathering that was previously a public-sector duty, as well as ways to balance national security with the legal and constitutional rights of Americans.

“Individual privacy has been challenged by the development of new technologies enabling both private and public collection of personal information on a massive scale,” said Peter Juul, Policy Analyst at the Center for American Progress. “We need to update our laws governing online privacy to take into account the evolution of these technologies to ensure that the right to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution is preserved in this new era of information technology and telecommunications.”

The report offers the following recommendations:

  • Establish clear, updated rules for online privacy.
  • Ensure inherently governmental intelligence functions remain in public hands.
  • Reform oversight to balance national-security actions with legal protections.
  • Establish a national commission to examine these issues in full.

“The issues surrounding domestic surveillance are technologically complex and go to the heart of the constitutional protections we most cherish, which is why we are recommending that President Obama establish a national commission to examine these challenges in full,” said John Podesta, Chair of the Center for American Progress. “The commission should be tasked with offering recommendations for a flexible legal framework that can easily accommodate technological advances while maintaining respect for civil liberties.”

Over the past decade the U.S. government and many American companies have plowed ahead on data collection and analysis while expanding private contracting of inherently governmental functions. The time has come to have full and complete deliberation of these issues.

Read the report: Adapting to the Future of Intelligence Gathering by Peter Juul

For more information, contact Anne Shoup at or 202.481.7146.