Statement from DNI James R. Clapper on Intelligence Reforms Announced Today by President Obama
January 17, 2014
Today, President Obama announced new guidelines for Intelligence Community foreign intelligence surveillance programs. His decisions were guided by recommendations from the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and in close consultation with Congress and Intelligence Community leaders.
The President took a measured and thoughtful approach to the initiatives he announced today. His reforms are focused on striking the right balance between making sure we have the tools necessary to conduct intelligence, and ensuring that we are being as transparent as possible and abiding by protocols that protect the civil liberties and privacy of all Americans. He reminded us that as technology advances, we continue to face new and evolving threats to our national security and must adjust our policies and practices to ensure that our intelligence activities are both necessary and appropriate.
In the coming weeks, we will work with our oversight committees to implement the President’s reforms while we continue to focus on the intelligence challenges facing the United States and our allies.
As intelligence professionals, we have historically preferred to avoid the spotlight, but we know that for the foreseeable future, the public will remain focused on what we do and how we do it. To build on and maintain the trust of the American people and our international partners, we must embrace the President’s call for transparency.
As the President said, the men and women of the Intelligence Community perform extraordinarily difficult jobs, in which success is rarely celebrated but is vital to our national security. We conduct the lawful foreign intelligence activities that have been instrumental in preventing a multitude of attacks and saved scores of innocent lives – not just here in the United States, but around the globe.
I am extremely proud of how our workforce, especially the National Security Agency, has persevered, and I have assured the President that as we embrace the reforms announced today, we will continue – as we always have – to do our part to keep the nation safe.
James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence