"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.
"[U.S.] secrecy policy is founded on a set of principles so broadly conceived that they do not provide unequivocal guidance to government officials who are responsible for deciding whether or not to classify particular topics."
Disclosures of Obama administration domestic intelligence activities have rekindled public discussion of the balance between counterterrorism efforts and civil liberties, as examined in this Issue Guide.
The Guardian obtained a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order requiring Verizon to give the National Security Agency "information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries" on an "ongoing, daily basis" from April 25 through July 19, 2013.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released a statement to address the recent "unauthorized disclosure" of a U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order. The document requires Verizon to provide the National Security Agency with detailed telephone call records of millions of U.S.-based customers on a daily basis. In response, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has declassified selected details related to the "business records" provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Authors: Anna C Henning, Elizabeth B. Bazan, Charles Doyle, and Edward C Liu
This report discusses the history of constitutional interpretations and legislative responses relevant to the collection of private information for criminal investigation, foreign intelligence gathering, and national security purposes. Next, it summarizes the relevant statutory frameworks and changes made by the USA PATRIOT Act and subsequent measures
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.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
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.
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 »