Corporations' Collection and Storage of American Data Continues With No Oversight
Mike Swetnam, CEO of Potomac Institute, comments on the Presidential Directive released yesterday:
I joined the Intelligence Services of this country in December 1972 when I was first “read into” SCI—Special Compartmented Information. For the past 41 years I have been involved, at one level or another, in intelligence work. Most of that time the work was related to Signals Intelligence (SIGINT). In June of 1985, I was assigned to the Intelligence Community Staff (now called the Office of the DNI Staff). I was the overseer, coordinator, reviewer, and presenter of the Consolidated Cryptologic Program (NSA’s budget) to the US Congress. Since 1998, I have been a member of the US Senate Special Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) Technical Advisory Board (TAG). In that capacity, I have had the privilege of reviewing the NSA Program and Budget often. It is therefore accurate to say that I have been and am currently familiar with NSA and the conduct of SIGINT in the US Intelligence Community. In particular, I have been involved in SIGINT, how it is used and controlled since the controlling document Executive Order 12333 was released by the Reagan administration.
I have reviewed the President’s new directive regarding the collection, analysis, storage, and dissemination of SIGINT, PD-28.
In my opinion, this is an almost nothing directive. It reiterates long-standing processes and procedures for controlling SIGINT. It redirects department heads and IC agencies to control the info almost exactly as they have for the last 33 years under EO12333. It directs several reports from the principals of these agencies within the next six months on how well they are doing what they should have been doing anyway. It’s actually a reminder directive.
Read more: Presidential Directive Misses Real Threat to Public’s Privacy, Says Institute CEO
Massive Technology Improvements Drive Changes Faster Than Policy Can Keep Up With
Science and technology has been the largest driver in the evolution and change of human affairs, and understanding and assessing new trends in science is the first step helping policymakers react to scientific progress, according to Potomac Institute CEO and Chairman Michael S. Swetnam. He provided the keynote speech to the neuroscience community at a one-day symposium on "Ethical Issues in Neuroscience" in Washington, DC.
Swetnam’s speech, “From Ethics to Policy and Law,” reviewed scientific advancements starting with the Industrial Revolution, showing how technologies have permeated societies around the world, and emphasized that the government needs advice regarding new policy, new legislation, and new investments. The report is available here.
“Today, we continue to see the development of earth shattering, economy changing, and socially disruptive technologies every few years,” Swetnam explained. “These technologies continue to have an increasing impact on society and the cumulative effects are harder to mitigate.”
Read more: Institute CEO Says Science and Technology Should Drive and Inform Policy