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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
National Security Letters: Proposals in the 113th Congress

National Security Letters: Proposals in the 113th Congress

Date: January 22, 2015
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report reprints the text of the five National Security Letter (NSL) statutes as they now appear and as they appeared prior to amendment by the USA PATRIOT Act. A National Security Letter (NSL) is roughly comparable to an administrative subpoena, used by various intelligence agencies to demand certain customer information from communications providers, financial institutions, and consumer credit reporting agencies under the Right to Financial Privacy Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the National Security Act, and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The U.S. Secret Service: History and Missions

The U.S. Secret Service: History and Missions

Date: December 18, 2014
Creator: Reese, Shawn
Description: This report discusses potential policy questions for the upcoming 114th Congress concerning the Service’s mission and organization through an examination of the USSS history and its statutory authorities, mission, and present activities within DHS. The policy questions presented in this report are only considerations, since the Service is widely perceived to be operating and performing its missions effectively for the past 11 years as part of DHS.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The SSCI Study of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program: Issues to Consider

The SSCI Study of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program: Issues to Consider

Date: December 16, 2014
Creator: Miles, Anne Daugherty
Description: This report briefly discusses issues pertaining to the 500-page Executive Summary of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA's) Detention and Interrogation Program, which released to the public on December 9, 2014 describes the history of the CIA's Detention and Interrogation Program from late 2001 to January 2009, including a review of each of the 119 individuals known to have been held in CIA custody.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Intelligence Whistleblower Protections: In Brief

Intelligence Whistleblower Protections: In Brief

Date: October 23, 2014
Creator: Perry, Rodney M.
Description: This report describes three sources of Intelligence Community (IC) whistleblower protection including the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998 (ICWPA), Presidential Policy Directive 19 (PPD-19), and Title VI of the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 (Title VI). Generally speaking, whistleblowers are those who expose misconduct (e.g., fraud, abuse, or illegal activity) within an organization. In the context of the IC, whistleblowers are generally employees or contractors of federal intelligence agencies who bring to light information on agency wrongdoings.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Smartphone Data Encryption: A Renewed Boundary for Law Enforcement?

Smartphone Data Encryption: A Renewed Boundary for Law Enforcement?

Date: October 17, 2014
Creator: Finklea, Kristin
Description: This report briefly examines new issues for law enforcement regarding data encryption and smartphones including cyber-criminals and Apple's new privacy policy that removes the back-doors that law enforcement used to be able to use to access user data.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: Procedural and Operational Changes

Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: Procedural and Operational Changes

Date: August 26, 2014
Creator: Nolan, Andrew & Thompson, Richard M., II
Description: This report begins with an overview of both the FISC and the FISA Court of Review, including the jurisdiction of these courts, how the judges are appointed, and the FISC's practices and procedures for reviewing and issuing surveillance orders. The report then discusses the scope and underlying legal principles behind congressional regulation of the procedures of the federal courts, and applies those principles with respect to the various proposals to reform the FISA judicial review process.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The U.S. Secret Service: History and Missions

The U.S. Secret Service: History and Missions

Date: June 18, 2014
Creator: Reese, Shawn
Description: This report discusses potential policy questions concerning the U.S. Secret Service through an examination of the Service's history and its statutory authorities, mission, and present activities within Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities and Recent Developments

Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities and Recent Developments

Date: April 1, 2014
Creator: Liu, Edward C.; Nolan, Andrew & Thompson, Richard M., II
Description: This report focuses on two main National Security Agency (NSA) collection activities approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978. The first is the bulk collection of telephony metadata for domestic and international telephone calls. The second involves the interception of Internet-based communications and is targeted at foreigners who are not within the United States, but may also inadvertently acquire the communications of U.S. persons.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: A Brief Overview

Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: A Brief Overview

Date: March 31, 2014
Creator: Cole, Jared P. & Nolan, Andrew
Description: This report discusses the recent disclosures of various National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance and data collection programs that have prompted increased attention on the government's collection of foreign intelligence.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The U.S. Secret Service: History and Missions

The U.S. Secret Service: History and Missions

Date: March 25, 2014
Creator: Reese, Shawn
Description: This report discusses potential policy questions concerning the U.S. Secret Service through an examination of the Service's history and its statutory authorities, mission, and present activities within Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: Procedural and Operational Changes

Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: Procedural and Operational Changes

Date: January 16, 2014
Creator: Nolan, Andrew & Thompson, Richard M., II
Description: This report begins with an overview of both the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court of Review, including the jurisdiction of these courts, how the judges are appointed, and the FISC’s practices and procedures for reviewing and issuing surveillance orders. The report then discusses the scope and underlying legal principles behind congressional regulation of the procedures of the federal courts, and applies those principles with respect to the various proposals to reform the FISA judicial review process.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse at the Legal Background

National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse at the Legal Background

Date: January 3, 2014
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report reprints the text of the five National Security Letter (NSL) statutes as they now appear and as they appeared prior to amendment by the USA PATRIOT Act (to which form they would be returned under S.1125 and H.R. 1805).
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: June 24, 2013
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: 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 previous legislative efforts to criminalize the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations

Date: April 24, 2013
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Description: This report provides background information on key elements of the FBI terrorism investigative process, based on publicly available information. This report sets forth possible considerations for Congress as it executes its oversight role, including the extent to which intelligence has been integrated into FBI operations to support its counterterrorism mission and the progress the Bureau has made on its intelligence reform initiatives.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Intelligence Issues for Congress

Intelligence Issues for Congress

Date: April 23, 2013
Creator: Erwin, Marshall Curtis
Description: This report gives an overview of current intelligence issues of interest to the 112th Congress. It includes background and analysis including most recent development, ongoing Congressional concerns, specific issues for the 112th Congress, and a summary of related legislation from the 109th through the 112th Congresses.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Gang of Four" Congressional Intelligence Notifications

"Gang of Four" Congressional Intelligence Notifications

Date: April 16, 2013
Creator: Erwin, Marshall Curtis
Description: This report reviews the history of the Gang of Four notification process and compares this procedure with that of the "Gang of Eight" notification procedure. The "Gang of Eight" procedure is statutorily based and provides that the chairmen and ranking Members of the intelligence committee, along with the Speaker and minority leader of the House, and Senate majority and minority leaders--rather than the full membership of the intelligence committees-- are to receive prior notice of particularly sensitive covert action programs, if the President determines that limited access to such programs is essential to meet extraordinary circumstances affecting vital U.S. interests.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Acquisition: Issues for Congress

Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Acquisition: Issues for Congress

Date: April 16, 2013
Creator: Erwin, Marshall Curtis
Description: This report discusses Congressional issues regarding Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems, which are integral components of both national policymaking and military operations, including counterterrorism operations. ISR systems are costly and complicated, and the relationships among organizations responsible for designing and operating these systems are equally complicated.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions

Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions

Date: April 10, 2013
Creator: Erwin, Marshall C.
Description: Published reports have suggested that in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Pentagon has expanded its counterterrorism intelligence activities as part of what the Bush Administration termed the global war on terror. Some observers have asserted that the Department of Defense (DOD) may have been conducting certain kinds of counterterrorism intelligence activities that would statutorily qualify as "covert actions," and thus require a presidential finding and the notification of the congressional intelligence committees. This report examines the legislative background surrounding covert action and poses several related policy questions.
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 10, 2013
Creator: Erwin, Marshall Curtis
Description: 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: November 19, 2012
Creator: Rollins, John & Lange, Rebecca S.
Description: Report that reviews the history of the Gang of Four intelligence notification process and compares this procedure with that of the "Gang of Eight" notification procedure.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges

Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges

Date: September 18, 2012
Creator: Grimmett, Richard F. & Lange, Rebecca S.
Description: This report assesses the effects of the absence of intelligence authorization legislation subsequent to FY2005 and indicate the substantial but limited effects of the FY2010 Intelligence Authorization Act (P.L. 111-259)
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Acquisition: Issues for Congress

Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Acquisition: Issues for Congress

Date: September 10, 2012
Creator: Grimmett, Richard F. & Lange, Rebecca S.
Description: This report discusses Congressional issues regarding Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems, which are integral components of both national policymaking and military operations, including counterterrorism operations. ISR systems are costly and complicated, and the relationships among organizations responsible for designing and operating these systems are equally complicated.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Stealing Trade Secrets and Economic Espionage: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. 1831 and 1832

Stealing Trade Secrets and Economic Espionage: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. 1831 and 1832

Date: August 28, 2012
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: Report that gives an overview of 18 U.S.C. 1832 (theft of trade secrets) and 18 U.S.C. 1831 (economic espionage). It also describes what constitutes as a stolen trade secret, and how such crimes are prosecuted.
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: June 26, 2012
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