NSA Struck the “Right Balance” of Security and Personal Liberty

June 13, 2013 – In The News

Scott Vernick appeared on WHYY’s NewsWorks on June 13, 2013 to discuss the controversial phone and internet surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency that were brought to light last week.

With NSA Director Keith Alexander welcoming public debate about the program, NewsWorks turned to Vernick for his opinion. “The debate here really centers on the issue of balance,” Vernick said. “And actually, I think the president got it right. The question is how we balance our right, our need and our desire for privacy in our personal lives against the demands of national security.”

Vernick remarked that, “no individual American has been targeted. What the NSA is looking at is the whole swath of call logs and metadata. Where phone calls originated and numbers called; where they took place and their duration.”

“We have real and persistent threats of domestic and foreign terrorism,” Vernick said. “We need effective tools to combat these threats. The methods we have at the moment have been proven to be successful. That puts us in the position of wanting to defend those particular methods.”

On the issue of balance between privacy and national security, Vernick concluded, “I think at the moment, until proven otherwise, the balance has been appropriately struck.”

Listen to the interview.