The surveillance reform Brennan refers to comes after the NSA scandal that began in 2013, when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden began releasing confidential documents exposing the highly suspicious and essentially corrupt acts of the agency, especially in regard to obtaining phone records. The passage of the USA Freedom Act in June of this year was meant to reduce the intrusive powers of the NSA and increase the privacy rights of American citizens.
However, John Brennan believes that this act and the general reevaluation of NSA power has made it more difficult to identify possible threats to the nation. While not commenting on France's intelligence and security, Brennan did say that the attacks were "not a surprise", implying that (at least) the CIA may have known about a planned large-scale ISIS attack.
-Do you believe that, in light of terrorist attacks, privacy rights should be weakened in order to protect citizens? What is the line between privacy and prevention?
-Do you believe Americans have a right to decide the level of privacy they can have, especially in times of terror? Or is this the government's right to decide?