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NSA General Counsel Says 5G, Emerging Techs Make Privacy ‘Complicated’

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Glenn Gerstell, general counsel of the National Security Agency, said the adoption of 5G network and other tools like artificial intelligence could pose challenges for the federal government to promote citizen privacy, CBS News reported Wednesday. 

“There’s lots and lots of potential for mischief. There’s lots of potential for real benefit. But I think our society hasn’t even now, let alone in the future, figured out what privacy really means,” he told the publication. “We haven’t been faced with a technology like this, that has become this ubiquitous, this impactful, ever in the history of the world.” 

The rapid adoption, spread of faster, more stable mobile and web networks as well as AI, geolocation and facial recognition tools require “significant legislative action,” Gerstell said. However, the NSA official noted Americans are still protected by the Fourth Amendment during surveillance operations of the agency. 

Gerstell said there are multiple layers of oversight to secure privacy of citizens. The process involves the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the president’s intelligence advisory board and two congressional committees.