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Intelligence community must get its own house in order

By Daniel Castro and Alan McQuinn | Dec. 15, 2014
While there is certainly much room for improved cooperation between government and the private sector, the first step for reform should be for intelligence agencies like GCHQ to take a hard look in the mirror.

Moreover, law enforcement and intelligence agencies in both the United States and the United Kingdom should prioritize rebuilding the trust of the private sector by admitting to and curtailing the spying practices that exceed public expectations and laws, as well as committing themselves to real reform. . For example, in the United States, it is time for the president and Congress to make clear that the policy of the U.S. government is to improve online security, not weaken it, such as by notifying companies of vulnerabilities it has discovered in this process, as well as adopt the recommendations offered by the President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies. As the White House has noted in the past, "Trust is essential to maintaining the social and economic benefits that networked technologies bring to the United States and the rest of the world." It is imperative that policymakers around the world work to repair this trust. The root problems associated with mass, covert surveillance by the intelligence community — which generated the mistrust in the first place — have to be resolved. Then, and only then, will a meaningful dialogue begin with the tech industry.


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