Saturday, March 28, 2015

Rethinking Intelligence: Are National Security Programs Actually Working?‏

This week, Michael German spoke with former Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Clark Kent Ervin and technology expert Babak Pasdar about the problems surrounding intelligence programs launched without proper evaluation or research on whether the programs will work. Experts have found that the NSA's bulk collection program, the TSA's behavioral detection programs, and the FBI's “suspicious activity reporting” programs have done little to keep Americans safe.  

“The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act passed by Senate Intelligence Committee last week is an example of this phenomenon,” Michael German said. “Experts agree that the bill would do little, if anything, to reduce the large data breaches we’ve seen in recent years. If passed by Congress, it would further weaken electronic privacy laws and ultimately put our data at greater risk.”

“When the U.S. weakens [encryption] standards, they weaken the integrity of all internet communications, they weaken the integrity of all electronic communications,” Babak Pasdar said. “So if they have access to it, chances are somebody else will get access to it.”

“Not enough attention is paid to [a problem] until there's a crisis,” Clark Kent Ervin said. “If oversight bodies worked as they should, and if due attention were paid to it by Congress and the American people, then we would jettison programs that are ineffective and we would enhance programs that have proved to be effective.”

Watch and read the interviews here.

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