Last Friday, President Obama promised a review of current government surveillance practice by an independent group of outside experts. Turns out that the review group will be established by the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, who's come under fire from Congress for erroneously telling legislators that the U.S. doesn't "collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of million of Americans."
At the direction of the President, I am establishing the Director of National Intelligence Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies to examine our global signals-intelligence collection and surveillance capability.The Review Group will assess whether, in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United States employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust.
The Review Group will brief its interim findings to the President within 60 days of its establishment, and provide a final report with recommendations no later than Dec. 15, 2013.
In a memo, the White House further notes that Clapper, and not the review group, will brief the President on its findings. The extent to which Clapper will (or won't) participate in developing those expectations, however, isn't clear.