National Intelligence Director James Clapper said that NSA leaks by Edward Snowden prompted a debate that should have happened earlier, but he worried that leaks continue to compromise national security.
DNI Clapper was speaking to intelligence officials and industry experts attending an inaugural intelligence community summit. The event focused on setting intelligence priorities in the current environment after high profile leaks brought new attention to the national intelligence gathering process.
DNI Clapper said the Snowden incident emphasized the need for clearance reform and an "inside threat" detection regime, as well as a unified intelligence IT system that would promote both security and sharing.
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Director of Defense Intelligence Agency, spoke about the impact of global demographic, environmental and technological changes on the role of intelligence and the importance of the new IC Information Technology Enterprise (IC ITE) project to integrate and share intelligence gathering and analysis. He also spoke about the challenges facing efforts to contain and destroy Syria's chemical weapons reserves.
In the morning, the chairman and ranking member from the House Select Intelligence Committee gave their perspective on the changes in the intelligence community.