I really believe that we don't have to make a trade-off between security and privacy. I think technology gives us the ability to have both.
One of the reasons I continue to speak out is that the solutions to the counterterrorism problem involve other parts of the national security community - especially other elements of the Department of Defense, State, FBI, Homeland Security and the staff.
Nobody - myself included - believes that we could ever achieve total information awareness. But the government needs to set goals and long-range objectives. Total information awareness is a good goal.
It would be ideal if we could have an uncontrolled flow of information. But we realized you can't do that.
I think it is very difficult today to have a reasoned public discourse on any controversial subject. Certainly, election years present a complicating factor.
We wanted to be as expansive as possible to make sure we didn't preclude some good ideas.
I knew from the beginning that privacy was going to be a huge issue, especially with regard to applying Total Information Awareness in counterterrorism. Because if the technology development was successful, a logical place to apply it was inside the United States.
Uncontrolled access to data, with no audit trail of activity and no oversight would be going too far. This applies to both commercial and government use of data about people.
I think if I had to do it over again, I'd do it the same way. I would just put more resources into getting the public diplomacy part much stronger than we were able to.
TIA was being used by real users, working on real data - foreign data. Data where privacy is not an issue.
You accept failure as a possible outcome of some of the experiments. If you don't get failures, you're not pushing hard enough on the objectives.
The problem we were struggling with within the closed market was what the incentive would be. You probably wouldn't use dollars. But those are all questions that need to be explored.
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