On January 17, 2014, the President, through Presidential Policy Directive 28, directed my office to assess “the feasibility of creating software that would allow the Intelligence Community more easily to conduct targeted information acquisition rather than bulk collection.”
In order to fulfill this direction, I asked the National Academy of Sciences to study this critical issue, leveraging their reach across both the public and private sectors. NAS is a non-partisan, peer-reviewed body established specifically to perform such tasks for the U.S. Government.
NAS brought together a committee of experts from top technology firms and academia to consider whether technological alternatives to bulk collection exist while retaining critical intelligence capabilities. The independent, peer-reviewed report, Bulk Collection of Signals Intelligence: Technical Options, is publicly available at NAS’s website.
The IC is always looking for ways to fulfill our national security mandate while protecting civil liberties and privacy. I want to thank NAS for their expertise and providing an impartial look at feasible alternatives to bulk collection.
James R. Clapper
Director of National Intelligence