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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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
Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives

Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives

Date: May 14, 2012
Creator: Halchin, L. Elaine & Kaiser, Frederick M.
Description: This report describes the current select committees on intelligence; characteristics and a model for a possible joint committee; recent actions by Congress; and obstacles affecting legislative oversight in the field.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The U.S. Secret Service: An Examination and Analysis of Its Evolving Missions

The U.S. Secret Service: An Examination and Analysis of Its Evolving Missions

Date: April 16, 2012
Creator: Reese, Shawn
Description: The U.S. Secret Service has two missions: criminal investigations and protection. This report looks at the history of the organization and purpose as it relates to Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives

Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives

Date: March 26, 2012
Creator: Halchin, L. Elaine & Kaiser, Frederick M.
Description: This report, to be updated as events dictate, describes the current select committees on intelligence; characteristics and a model for a possible joint committee; recent actions by Congress; and obstacles affecting legislative oversight in the field.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives

Congressional Oversight of Intelligence: Current Structure and Alternatives

Date: March 14, 2012
Creator: Halchin, L. Elaine & Kaiser, Frederick M.
Description: This report, to be updated as events dictate, describes the current select committees on intelligence; characteristics and a model for a possible joint committee; recent actions by Congress; and obstacles affecting legislative oversight in the field.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cybersecurity: Selected Legal Issues

Cybersecurity: Selected Legal Issues

Date: March 14, 2012
Creator: Liu, Edward, C.; Stevens, Gina; Ruane, Kathleen Ann; Dolan, Alissa M. & Thompson, Richard M. II
Description: This report discusses selected legal issues that frequently arise in the context of recent legislation to address vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure to cyber threats, efforts to protect government networks from cyber threats, and proposals to facilitate and encourage sharing of cyber threat information amongst private sector and government entities. This report also discusses the degree to which federal law may preempt state law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Intelligence Issues for Congress

Intelligence Issues for Congress

Date: December 28, 2011
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
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
Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions

Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions

Date: December 27, 2011
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Description: Published reports have suggested that in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Pentagon has expanded its counter-terrorism intelligence activities as part of what the Bush Administration termed the global war on terror. This report discusses the Department of Defense's (DOD) various counter-terrorist intelligence activities, whether or not they constitute classification as "covert action," and the challenge of clarifying the roles and responsibilities of various intelligence activities with regard to clandestine activities. This report examines the statutory procedures governing covert action and associated questions to consider.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The National Intelligence Council (NIC): Issues and Options for Congress

The National Intelligence Council (NIC): Issues and Options for Congress

Date: December 27, 2011
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Description: It is the purpose of this report to describe the statutory provisions that authorize the NIC, provide a brief history of its work, and review its role within the federal government. The report will focus on congressional interaction with the NIC and describe various options for modifying congressional oversight.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Intelligence Appropriations Process: Issues for Congress

The Intelligence Appropriations Process: Issues for Congress

Date: November 9, 2011
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Description: The intelligence appropriations process remains complicated and not well understood, but intelligence is an important and sizable part of the federal budget and will undoubtedly be addressed as Congress considers various alternatives for spending. This report reviews the intelligence appropriations process, describes various changes that have been proposed, and analyzes the issues associated with the proposals.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Intelligence Issues for Congress

Intelligence Issues for Congress

Date: September 21, 2011
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
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