David Frum on why America needs more secrecy, not less

Copy of a FISA court order
This photograph made Thursday, June 6, 2013 in Washington shows a copy of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order requiring Verizon on an "ongoing, daily basis," to give the National Security Administration (NSA) information on landline and mobile telephone calls.

Sometimes a little government secrecy may be needed to protect America, argues David Frum in The Atlantic.

"We live in a world of predators," he writes. "A democratic state too gentlemanly to learn all it can about potential threats is a state that has betrayed its most-fundamental responsibilities to the people it exists to safeguard. That does not mean states cannot form relationships of trust and cooperation. They can and do — and ironically enough, intelligence-gathering presents an outstanding example of such cooperation: the intimate data-pooling among the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. That cooperation exists as a result of agreements among sovereign states that are responsible to their respective national electorates."

Frum joins The Daily Circuit to discuss why secrecy can be a good government tool to keep the country safe.


The Obama Administration Just Got Busted Over Excessive Secrecy — Again
Rather than suffering another high-profile blow to its excessive secrecy, the administration should begin to more openly acknowledge and defend the steps it is taking to protect our nation's security. It has begun to move in that direction: After a review, the administration loosened the disclosure rules on national security letters that require companies to hand over data about customers. And the decision to strengthen the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent agency that can inspect government programs and issue reports on their implications for privacy, is important. (New Republic)

Obama administration tightens grip on intelligence
A March 20 directive issued by the director of national intelligence states that only certain intelligence officials are authorized to talk to the media, and everyone else must report all intentional or unintentional contact with reporters. Violating this rule could result in an employee losing his or her security clearance and job. (Associated Press)

Opinions clash on Snowden's fate
The case of Edward Snowden presents an ethical dilemma: He has apparently committed crimes by stealing and revealing classified information about the surveillance activities of the U.S. government. Yet the information he revealed is being broadly used by the mainstream media and even parts of the government itself. (The Daily Circuit)

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