August 15, 2013
What if every NSA employee and contractor was required, once a year, to fill out an anonymous civil liberties survey? The anonymity of respondents would be persuasively guaranteed, and a multiple choice format would prevent the disclosure of any classified information.
Answering would be as easy as putting a number two pencil to an answer sheet.
1) The NSA targets the communications of American citizens a) often b) sometimes c) rarely d) never
2) In the last year I have witnessed Fourth Amendment violations a) 0 times b) 1 to 5 times c) 5 to 10 times d) 10 to 100 times e) more than 100 times
3) Civil liberties protections used by the NSA are a) foolproof b) more than adequate c) only sometimes effective d) totally ineffective
4) Congressional oversight of the NSA is a) if anything too onerous b) just right c) inadequate d) Congress has failed to stop serious abuses e) Congress isn't even aware of serious abuses
5) To your knowledge, how many of your colleagues are violating the law or the rights of Americans. a) None b) one outlier c) a few d) a significant number e) more employees than not
There may well be much better questions than these (in fact, I'd be grateful if readers and other journalists helped to formulate some of them), but you get the idea. Every NSA employee would pledge to give honest answers, then fill out the anonymous survey. The results would be tallied by an independent party and made public. Sure, abuses could easily go undetected by this method, but folks who wanted to speak out could. Want to empower whistleblowers to tip off the public to abuses without risking an Edward Snowden style leak? This approach is for you!
Read more at The Atlantic.
August 15, 2013