What the President Didn’t Say in His Speech on Surveillance ReformTweet
January 17, 2014
Statement of Danielle Brian, Executive Director,
Project On Government Oversight
We’re encouraged that President Obama today acknowledged the dangers posed to our civil liberties by unchecked and overreaching intelligence gathering. His speech sets the stage for important reforms.
It is significant that he noted the need to declassify Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions but there is still need for more reforms to end secret laws. In addition, Congress must act to protect the civil liberties of Americans and should not delay in passing the USA FREEDOM Act.
Today’s important discussion would not have happened if Edward Snowden hadn’t thrust the scope of the government’s activities into the open. Unfortunately, one major issue the president did not address was the fact Snowden did not have safe channels to make disclosures. If the president wants to prevent leaks, there must be meaningful intelligence community whistleblower protections.
Congress must finally act to ensure whistleblowers are protected when making disclosures to any member of Congress and independent federal agencies outside of the intelligence community, such as the Office of Special Counsel and the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.
Congressional oversight is vital—the intelligence agencies cannot police themselves.
Ms. Brian's areas of expertise include: National Security, Government Oversight, Wasteful Defense Spending, Ethics, Open Government, Whistleblower Issues
Topics: National Security
Related Content: Surveillance
Authors: Danielle Brian
- June 1, 2015
- October 24, 2014
- September 5, 2014
- May 22, 2014
- May 8, 2014
- January 16, 2014
- October 31, 2013
- October 3, 2013
Browse POGOBlog by Topic
POGO on Facebook
Podcast; Social Media, Internet Provides Opportunities, Challenges for Lawmakers
The Congressional Management Foundation offers the Gold Mouse Awards annually to members of Congress who make the most of the opportunity the digital world offers them. POGO spoke with members of Rep. Mike Honda's communications team about their award.