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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2011
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 112th Congress

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 112th Congress

Date: July 26, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Description: The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA; 5 U.S.C. §552) enables any person to access—without explanation or justification—certain existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records. Pursuant to FOIA, the public has presumptive access to requested agency records unless the material falls within any of FOIA's nine categories of exemption from disclosure. This report discusses FOIA's history, examines its implementation, and provides potential policy approaches for Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The State Secrets Privilege: Preventing the Disclosure of Sensitive National Security Information During Civil Litigation

The State Secrets Privilege: Preventing the Disclosure of Sensitive National Security Information During Civil Litigation

Date: March 28, 2011
Creator: Garvey, Todd & Liu, Edward, C.
Description: This report presents an overview of the protections afforded by the state secrets privilege; a discussion of some of the many unresolved issues associated with the privilege; and a selection of high-profile examples of how the privilege has been applied in practice.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Director of National Intelligence Statutory Authorities: Status and Proposals

Director of National Intelligence Statutory Authorities: Status and Proposals

Date: January 12, 2011
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr. & Cumming, Alfred
Description: This report discusses the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) position created by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458). It includes an overview of the authorities granted to the DNI by legislation in 2004 and later as well as the varying opinions of Congress regarding new DNI authorities, as well as related legislation from FY2010 through FY2012.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Sensitive Covert Action Notifications: Oversight Options for Congress

Sensitive Covert Action Notifications: Oversight Options for Congress

Date: April 6, 2011
Creator: Cumming, Alfred
Description: Legislation enacted in 1980 gave the executive branch authority to limit advance notification of especially-sensitive covert actions to eight Members of Congress (called the "Gang of Eight") when the President determines that it is essential to limit prior notice in order to meet extraordinary circumstances affecting U.S. vital interests. This report describes the statutory provision authorizing Gang of Eight notifications, reviews the legislative history of the provision, and examines the impact of such notifications on congressional oversight.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
“Gang of Four” Congressional Intelligence Notifications

“Gang of Four” Congressional Intelligence Notifications

Date: March 18, 2011
Creator: Cumming, Alfred
Description: "Gang of Four" intelligence notifications are oral briefings on sensitive non-covert action intelligence activities (including intelligence collection programs) that the Intelligence Community typically limits to the chairmen and ranking members of the two congressional intelligence committees, and at times to their respective staff directors. This report reviews the history of Gang of Four notification process and compares this procedure with that of the "Gang of Eight" notification procedure.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Protection of Classified Information: The Legal Framework

The Protection of Classified Information: The Legal Framework

Date: January 10, 2011
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: This report provides an overview of the relationship between executive and legislative authority over national security information, and summarizes the current laws that form the legal framework protecting classified information, including current executive orders and some agency regulations pertaining to the handling of unauthorized disclosures of classified information by government officers and employees. The report also summarizes criminal laws that pertain specifically to the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Terrorism Information Sharing and the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Report Initiative: Background and Issues for Congress

Terrorism Information Sharing and the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Report Initiative: Background and Issues for Congress

Date: December 28, 2011
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This report describes the NSI, the rationale for the sharing of terrorism-related SARs, and how the NSI seeks to achieve this objective. It examines the privacy and civil liberties concerns raised by the initiative and identifies other oversight issues for Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information

Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information

Date: January 10, 2011
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization WikiLeaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. The Justice Department and Department of Defense are investigating the circumstances to determine whether any prosecutions will be undertaken in connection with the disclosure. This report discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, including the Espionage Act; the extraterritorial application of such statutes; and the First Amendment implications related to such prosecutions against domestic or foreign media organizations and associated individuals. The report provides a summary of recent legislation relevant to the issue as well as some previous efforts to criminalize the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

Date: January 28, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Description: This report reviews the objectives delineated in President Obama's Open Government Initiative (OGI) and examines the expectations placed on agencies to meet these objectives. This report reviews department and agency attempts to implement Obama Administration initiatives that seek to make the federal government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative. The report then analyzes options for congressional action in this area.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Changing Demographic Profile of the United States

The Changing Demographic Profile of the United States

Date: March 31, 2011
Creator: Shrestha, Laura B. & Heisler, Elayne J.
Description: This report discusses the demographic profile of the United States and highlights demographic changes that have occurred since 1950 to illustrate how trends may affect the demographics of the U.S. through 2050.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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