Privacy / Data Protection

Beyond the War on Terrorism: Towards the New Intelligence Network

Author(s): Paul M. Schwartz
Year: 2007

Abstract: In Terrorism, Freedom, and Security, Philip B. Heymann undertakes a wide-ranging study of how the United States can - and in his view should - respond to the threat of international terrorism. Heymann makes clear his own policy and legal preferences. First, he firmly rejects the widely used metaphor of the United States engaging in a "war" on terrorism. Second, Heymann advocates the paramount importance of intelligence to identify and disrupt terrorists' plans and to prevent terrorists from attacking their targets. At the same time, however, a heightened reliance on accurate and timely intelligence comes with risks. Heymann is concerned about the creation and consequences of an "intelligence state" in the U.S.

In this Review's Part I, we assess the idea of a war on terrorism as policy tool and metaphor. We also examine Heymann's alternative instruments, including diplomacy, intelligence, control over terrorist finances, and law enforcement. As a related topic, we consider the safeguards that Heymann develops for preventing the rise of an American intelligence state.

This Review's Part II looks at two additional aspects of Heymann's vision of future uses of intelligence to thwart terrorism. In Part II.A., we describes the contours of data mining, a technique of intelligence analysis that Heymann advocates. Although Heymann notes that data mining is likely to have an adverse effect on privacy, he does not develop detailed safeguards in response. A Pentagon blue ribbon panel, the Technology and Privacy Advisory Committee (TAPAC), has, however, developed a recommended framework for governmental use of data mining techniques, and we assess the TAPAC recommendations. Finally, in this Review's Part II.B., we turn to an important policy discussion related to data mining: how can the USIC better disseminate intelligence within a proposed new intelligence network? We sketch the proposed form of the new intelligence network and analyze four important legal and policy questions that it raises.

Keywords: data mining, privacy, Technology and Privacy Advisory Committee