Brumley Fellow and ISP Director Co-author Essay on Privacy and U.S. Signals Intelligence

Oct 17, 2019

In an Intelligence Studies Essay on the Lawfare national security site, LBJ School alumnus and former Brumley Graduate Fellow Eric Manpearl and ISP Director Steve Slick call for a reappraisal of Obama-era policies that afford extraordinary privacy protections to incidentally collected data on foreign nationals.

The authors argue that the security costs of these legacy restrictions on U.S. signals intelligence activity outweigh the diplomatic benefits of voluntarily extending universal privacy rights to citizens of both allied and adversarial states. The essay recommends a full policy review leading to repeal of relevant provisions in Presidential Policy Directive-28 or, at a minimum, amendments to the Directive that would require foreign governments that desire such protections for their citizens to respect the privacy of Americans in equal measure.  The full essay is here.