On the Key Role Intelligence Agencies Can Play to Restore Our Democratic Institutions

  • Yvo DesmedtEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8809)


After the Snowden leaks, it has become evident that a discussion is needed on how to reorganize the huge intelligence agencies so that they fit a Western thinking and to avoid that they are evolving into a clone of what the KGB and the Stasi used to be. Well before the Snowden leaks, the author had been thinking along this line.

On the 26th of October 2012, at the closed workshop on “Online Security & Civil Rights: a Fine Ethical Balance,” Hertfordshire, UK, the author put forward the idea that modern intelligence agencies should be split. The part which is involved today in mass surveillance, should work for the people and no longer for the government. That means that the intelligence agencies should spy on these working in the government and these working for lobbyists. The recipient of this information should be the public at large. The foundation of this idea comes from the Magna Carta and the US Bill of Rights that regard “We the People” as the trustworthy party and the government as potentially corrupt.

In this paper we present the above ideas put forward by the author at the aforementioned 2012 Hertfordshire workshop. We also reflect on these 2012 ideas in the context of the Snowden leaks.


Intelligence Agency Fusion Center Online Security Closed Workshop Fukushima Nuclear Accident 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The slides used at the aforementioned 2012 workshop thanked the organizers and “the anonymous people from intelligence agencies for privately expressing their concerns about the US Patriot Act, and researchers consulting for European Governments stating that what they are doing on the cyber topic violates their constitutions.”

The author also thanks Bruce Christianson for encouraging him to submit the position paper to the Security Protocols Workshop, Cambridge, and the many participants of both this workshop and the 2012 “Online Security & Civil Rights: a Fine Ethical Balance” workshop for their feedback.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA
  2. 2.University College LondonLondonUK

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