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Surveillance Policy: A Pragmatic Agenda for 2017 and Beyond

Dec 12, 2016
10:00am to 11:30am

Google - Washington DC Office
Washington, DC

Featured Panelists

  • Jennifer Daskal

    Associate Professor, American University Washington College of Law

  • Richard Fontaine

    President, Center for a New American Security

  • Stephanie Martz

    Director, Reform Government Surveillance Coalition

  • Benjamin Powell

    Former General Counsel, Office of the Director of National Intelligence

  • Ellen Nakashima

    National Security Reporter, The Washington Post


The panel discusses the key surveillance-policy issues facing the incoming administration and the CNAS report’s concrete, actionable recommendations for addressing them.

The panel follows a presentation of a new CNAS report on the future of surveillance policy, authored by:

Michèle Flournoy

CEO, Center for a New American Security

Adam Klein

Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security

About the Event

With ever more human activity taking place on electronic networks, electronic surveillance is an essential tool for combating the array of complex threats facing the nation.  At the same time, the powerful capabilities available to the intelligence community and law enforcement and the secrecy that necessarily envelops them raise inevitable and important questions for individual privacy, the rule of law, and public accountability.

In late 2014, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) began a two-year initiative aimed at developing a new approach to surveillance policy for the next administration.  On December 12, CNAS will release a comprehensive report on the future of surveillance policy, including 61 recommendations for the next administration and Congress.  The report’s pragmatic approach enhances privacy, protects the competitiveness of the U.S. technology industry, and addresses the international consequences of surveillance programs, without sacrificing capabilities needed for foreign intelligence, counterterrorism, or law enforcement.  The report addresses a wide range of topics, including encryption, risk management in signals intelligence, Section 702, diplomatic initiatives related to electronic surveillance, and standards for law-enforcement access to user data. 

Two of the report’s co-authors, Michèle Flournoy, Chief Executive Officer of CNAS, and Adam Klein, Senior Fellow at CNAS, will provide a short briefing on CNAS’s work on surveillance policy and on the report’s main findings.

This presentation will be followed by a moderated panel on key issues in surveillance policy facing the incoming administration and Congress.  Questions to be discussed include: How should the new administration approach the reauthorization of Section 702? Should the new administration press for decryption legislation or seek to de-escalate the encryption controversy?  How can the new administration address enduring transatlantic fissures over surveillance policy, particularly in light of pending judicial challenges to the new Privacy Shield agreement?  How can surveillance decisions better account for outside equities, including cybersecurity and the technology industry’s international competitiveness?

Map showing event location
Google - Washington DC Office
25 Massachusetts Ave NW
Suite 900
Washington, DC 20001