Washington—The leadership of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees today released the following statement on the President’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies:
“The Report of the President's Review Group makes some constructive recommendations, many of which the House and Senate Intelligence Committees have previously addressed in legislation reported by one or both committees. These include measures to increase transparency of the U.S. intelligence community’s collection programs, improve the security clearance process, and enhance whistleblower protections for intelligence community employees.
"However, a number of recommendations in the report should not be adopted by Congress, starting with those based on the misleading conclusion that the NSA's metadata program is ‘not essential to preventing attacks.’ Intelligence programs do not operate in isolation and terrorist attacks are not disrupted by the work of any one person or program. The NSA's metadata program is a valuable analytical tool that assists intelligence personnel in their efforts to efficiently ‘connect the dots’ on emerging or current terrorist threats directed against Americans in the United States. The necessity of this program cannot be measured merely by the number of terrorist attacks disrupted, but must also take into account the extent to which it contributes to the overall efforts of intelligence professionals to quickly respond to, and prevent, rapidly emerging terrorist threats. As the president has said, the NSA metadata program ‘is an important tool in our effort to disrupt terrorist plots.’ We continue to believe that it is vital this lawful collection program continue.
“The White House has indicated it will review the recommendations and determine which it will endorse and which it will reject. We look forward to working with the administration during this process and appreciate the assurances we have received that this consultation will happen.”