A recent paper published by Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs examines the balance between a U.S. citizen’s unalienable right to privacy and security of the nation. “By Any Means Necessary: Privacy Implications of Intelligence Support to Domestic Security” looks at what happens when the government’s responsibilities to provide privacy and security collide.
Throughout the paper, the author explores intelligence and law enforcement cooperation and the intelligence community’s support to domestic security. The author examines the impact this support has on privacy and civil liberties, including examples from our nation’s past, such as the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. The paper also includes thought experiments and scenarios in line with our current national climate, like the surveillance of Muslim communities within the U.S. and groups like Black Lives Matter.
The author makes many recommendations that could better protect U.S. citizen privacy while strengthening national security. Among them:
- The intelligence community, Department of Defense, and all government agencies and departments must develop common procedures for reporting and retracting U.S. citizen information in finished intelligence products that drive decision making;
- Implement operational guidelines that prohibits intelligence community agencies and departments from providing technical assistance to support law enforcement mass surveillance of dissident groups that results in the creation of individual records or dossiers without specific approval from the United States Attorney General and the Federal Privacy Commissioner;
- The government (particularly the intelligence community and the Department of Defense) needs to explore ways to strengthen procedures and processing time for Freedom of Information Act Requests, enabling U.S. citizens to know what information regarding themselves the government is collecting and retaining and that this information is accurate.
For more information about this paper, please follow the link below.
By Any Means Necessary, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs