Annually, the Director of National Intelligence testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to discuss the current and potential threats to United States' security and priorities for the Department of Defense budget. The assessment usually covers terrorism threats, cyber attacks, counterintelligence, proliferation, mass atrocities, regional and country-by-country threats, and other state and non state intelligence threats such as health threats, water security and transnational crime.
President Barack Obama delivered these remarks at the Department of Justice on January 17, 2014. He discussed changes to the National Security Agencies' operations regarding intelligence collection of American citizens' records.
"Perhaps Ahmadullah no longer feels that his life is at risk. Unlike al-Qaeda, the Taliban have emerged from the past decade remarkably unscathed. Many of the group's leaders have vanished into tribal areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and others live in urban areas—such as Quetta and Karachi—where U.S. drones could not reasonably operate. Still, if Ahmadullah who is no older than forty-seven, has any hope of playing a role in Afghanistan's future, he will have to emerge at some point from 'under the grave.'"
The President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies released this report on December 18, 2013. The document details forty-six recommendations for protecting national security and foreign policy interests while continuing to value privacy, civil liberties, and the public's trust.
"[Keeping the phone metadata collection program] was the first in a series of decisions by Obama to institutionalize some of the most controversial national-security policies of the Bush Administration. Faced with a long list of policies to roll back…reining in the N.S.A.'s surveillance programs might have seemed like a low priority. As core members of Al Qaeda were killed, the danger shifted to terrorists who were less organized and more difficult to detect, making the use of the N.S.A.'s powerful surveillance tools even more seductive."
Micah Zenko reviews 'Covert Capital': U.S. Empire in the Suburbs of Northern Virginia, which he says "provides an original and entertaining narrative showing how Cold War planning and operations permanently changed the suburbs of Washington."
Julia Sweig reflects on Washington's inconsistent response to outrage from foreign leaders at revelations of NSA spying, and on the roots and the implications of the United States' Euro-centric diplomacy.
Recent media stories about National Security Agency surveillance address unauthorized disclosures of two different intelligence collection programs. These programs arise from provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. However, they rely on separate authorities, collect different types of information, and raise different policy questions. As such, where possible, the information contained in this report distinguishes between the two."
"Recent media stories about National Security Agency surveillance address unauthorized disclosures of two different intelligence collection programs. These programs arise from provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. However, they rely on separate authorities, collect different types of information, and raise different policy questions. As such, where possible, the information contained in this report distinguishes between the two."
The NSA released this document on August 9, 2013, after Edward Snowden leaked classified documents related to the U.S. government's telephone and internet data collection and surveillance programs. This document details the history and mission of the NSA, the authority and process under which it operates, and the estimated size of its data operations.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper authorized the declassification and public release of documents submitetd by the National Security Agency to Congress, requesting reauthorization to collect telephone metadata, as permitted in Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.
On July 30, 2013, Judge Denise Lind, an army colonel, ruled in the United States v. Private First Class Bradley Manning trial that Manning is not guilty of aiding the enemy, but guilty on other counts of violating the espionage act. Manning released secret diplomatic cables and classified military reports from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to Wikileaks.
Office of the Director of National Intelligence General Counsel Robert Litt delivered remarks titled, "Privacy, Technology, and National Security: An Overview of Intelligence Collection," at the Brookings Institution on July 18, 2013.
Recent revelations about U.S. surveillance activities in Latin America have provoked a range of negative responses from regional leaders, but the practical consequences will be marginal, says expert Christopher Sabatini.
While the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has granted U.S. agencies broad legal authority to collect sensitive information, it is hardly a "rubber stamp" for government surveillance requests, says CFR's Matt Waxman.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »