James Madison Award

About the James Madison Award The award named for President James Madison was established in 1989 and is presented annually on the anniversary of his birth to honor individuals or groups who have championed, protected and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know at the national level.

Administered by:

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2014 Winner(s)

President Barack Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies

Their mission is to review and provide recommendations on “how in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United States can employ its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while respecting our commitment to privacy and civil liberties, recognizing our need to maintain the public trust, and reducing the risk of unauthorized disclosure.”

Calling on the government to enhance public trust, the President’s Review Group produced a thoughtful report with a blueprint showing how the government can reaffirm its commitment to privacy and civil liberties—all without compromising national security. In the report, the Review Group emphasized the need for transparency and effective oversight, and made recommendations intended to protect U.S. national security and advance foreign policy. Additionally, the Review Group asked the U.S. government to demonstrate the validity of claims that secrecy is necessary.

Members of the Review Group include Richard Clarke, former national security official under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush; Michael Morell, former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Geoffrey Stone, law professor at the University of Chicago Law School; Cass Sunstein, professor at Harvard University and Peter Swire, professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“We don’t think you have to sacrifice liberty to have freedom,” Clarke said while accepting the Madison award.