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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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 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
National Security Letters: Proposals in the 112th Congress

National Security Letters: Proposals in the 112th Congress

Date: June 30, 2011
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). NSLs are roughly comparable to administrative subpoenas. Various intelligence agencies use them 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
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
National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse of the Legal Background and Recent Amendments

National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse of the Legal Background and Recent Amendments

Date: December 27, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report discusses the National Security Letters (NSLs), which seek customer and consumer transaction information in national security investigations from communications providers, financial institutions, and credit agencies.
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
Homeland Security Intelligence: Perceptions, Statutory Definitions, and Approaches

Homeland Security Intelligence: Perceptions, Statutory Definitions, and Approaches

Date: January 14, 2009
Creator: Randol, Mark A.
Description: This report provides a potential conceptual model of how to frame homeland security intelligence (HSINT), including geographic, structural/statutory, and holistic approaches. Given that state, local, tribal, and private sector officials play such an important role in HSINT, the holistic model, one not constrained by geography or levels of government, strikes many as the most compelling. The report argues that there is, in effect, a Homeland Security Intelligence Community (HSIC). Although the HSIC's members are diffused across the nation, they share a common counterterrorism interest. The proliferation of intelligence and information fusion centers across the country indicate that state and local leaders believe there is value to centralizing intelligence gathering and analysis in a manner that assists them in preventing and responding to local manifestations of terrorist threats to their people, infrastructure, and other assets. At the policy and operational levels, the communication and integration of federal HSINT efforts with these state and local fusion centers will likely remain an important priority and future challenge.
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