Three Guiding Principles for Reforming the NSA

Over at the American Prospect, I have a long piece about what we need to think about for reforming the NSA.

Even today, when congressmen and senators complain that the national security apparatus is too large or too powerful, they are derided as weak, loving our enemies, and wishing for America to fail. Hill staffs are terrified to remove language authorizing aggressive security measures, because if an attack does sneak through their bosses will be hammered in the press, possibly even thrown out of office. An event as random and unpredictable as two Americans using common household goods to bomb a marathon sparked blanket coverage condemning the FBI for not reading their minds and failing to connect obscure dots.

The previous decade of ever-expanding security for increasing powers has hit a ceiling of public acceptance—the intelligence community has reached the limits of public trust. If the government wants us to trust it with the power it has, then it has to behave in a trustworthy way with it—no more secret courts, no more secret laws, and no more secret legal memos authorizing summary executions. So far, it has not.

Read the rest over at the Prospect.

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