The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees all U.S. intelligence agencies, has for nearly three months been holding a series of low-profile "privacy workshops" with a range of experts on technology and privacy.The stated purpose to educate DNI officials, their technologists, and civil liberties watchdogs on what current and emerging technologies could be used to protect privacy rights during the collection and analysis of intelligence. These broad and largely informal discussions are being held against the backdrop of increased surveillance and electronic monitoring by the government as it pursues terrorist suspects.Some of the workshop attendees praised the DNI for seeking checks against potential abuses, particularly as the governments appetite for data mining and profiling systems increases. But several well-known and highly regarded experts - who include vocal critics of the Bush administrations counterterrorism policies - were not invited to attend.The final workshop will be held next week, outside Washington. Officials arent asking attendees to recommend a particular way forward on privacy-protection, but they say theyll use what theyve learned to help chart the DNIs research agenda.Check out the full story in the current National Journal, out now.-- Shane Harris
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