decades. But that type of research is essential to counterterrorism efforts and to finding better ways of protecting privacy.
Finally, a clear and coherent legal framework will almost certainly be necessary to realize the potential of new technologies to fight terrorism. Because such technologies will operate in the political context of an American public concerned about privacy, the public—and congressional decision makers—will have to take measures that protect privacy when new technologies are deployed. All technological solutions will require a legal framework within which to operate, and there will always be gaps left by technological protections, which law will be essential to fill. Consequently, a lack of clarity in that framework may not only slow their development and deployment, as described above, but also make technological solutions entirely unworkable.