Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Surveillance Reform After Snowden

Timothy Edgar Testifies in the Snowden Inquiry

September 8, 2016

Edward Snowden's 2013 decision to "reveal the details of NSA surveillance to the world", writes Tim Edgar, Academic Director for Law and Policy of Brown University's Executive Master in Cybersecurity program and Senior Fellow at Brown's Watson Institute for International Studies and Public Affairs, "precipitated the open debate on privacy and surveillance we sorely needed but never had."

This week, he travels to Berlin to give testimony before the German Bundestag's Committee of Inquiry on the NSA Affair, also known as the Snowden inquiry. Tim will be reviewing the many surveillance reforms instituted by the United States in the past three years as well as recommendations for further reforms, which include the following:

  1. All NSA surveillance programs (with a few exceptions) should be subject to judicial review under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

  2. The United States should limit its surveillance of the citizens of friendly democratic nations (such as Germany) to international terrorism and other specific security threats – but only if those countries agree to limit their intelligence practices on a reciprocal basis. Judicial review could make such an agreement credible and enforceable.

  3. Congress should provide that signals intelligence programs be subject to meaningful challenge in the federal courts by those who reasonably fear surveillance, even if they cannot show their communications have actually been intercepted.

Read the full testimony.

For more information, click the link that follows to contact Brown CS Communication Outreach Specialist Jesse C. Polhemus.