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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Intelligence Estimates: How Useful to Congress?

Intelligence Estimates: How Useful to Congress?

Date: November 24, 2010
Creator: Best, Jr., Richard A.
Description: National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) are often of considerable interest to many Members of Congress. NIEs address issues of major national security importance which may require congressional action. However, NIEs have occasionally proved unreliable because they were based on insufficient evidence or contained faulty analysis. This report explores this issue and discusses the NIE process and its relevance to congressional policymaking.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Sensitive Covert Action Notifications: Oversight Options for Congress

Sensitive Covert Action Notifications: Oversight Options for Congress

Date: July 7, 2009
Creator: Cumming, Alfred
Description: With Congress considering a possible change regarding sensitive covert action policy, this memorandum describes the statutory provision authorizing Gang of Eight notifications, reviews the legislative history of the provision, and examine both the impact of such notifications on congressional oversight as well as options that Congress might consider to possibly improve oversight.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Court-Ordered Access to Smart Phones: In Brief

Court-Ordered Access to Smart Phones: In Brief

Date: February 23, 2016
Creator: Finklea, Kristin; Thompson, Richard M., II & Jaikaran, Chris
Description: This report specifically examines certain encryption issues that have been raised in the investigation of the December 2, 2015, terrorist attack in San Bernardino, CA. This report highlights certain issues that policymakers may examine as they follow the ongoing dispute between law enforcement and technology companies, and it focuses on questions related to the government's request.
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
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
Intelligence Estimates: How Useful to Congress?

Intelligence Estimates: How Useful to Congress?

Date: January 6, 2011
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Description: This report discusses the National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) that represent the highest and most formal level of strategic analysis by the U.S. intelligence community.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities

Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities

Date: May 21, 2015
Creator: Liu, Edward C. & Nolan, Andrew
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.
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
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
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
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
Government Collection of Private Information: Background and Issues Related to the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization

Government Collection of Private Information: Background and Issues Related to the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization

Date: March 2, 2010
Creator: Henning, Anna C.; Bazan, Elizabeth B.; Doyle, Charles & Liu, Edward C.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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
Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges

Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges

Date: February 24, 2009
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Description: This report assesses the effects of the absence of intelligence authorization legislation since FY2005. Since FY2005, no annual intelligence authorization bill has been enacted. Although the National Security Act requires intelligence activities to be specifically authorized, this requirement has been satisfied in recent years by one-sentence catch-all provisions in defense appropriations acts authorizing intelligence activities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges

Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges

Date: January 27, 2010
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Description: This report assesses the effects of the absence of intelligence authorization legislation since FY2005. Since FY2005, no annual intelligence authorization bill has been enacted. Although the National Security Act requires intelligence activities to be specifically authorized, this requirement has been satisfied in recent years by one-sentence catch-all provisions in defense appropriations acts authorizing intelligence activities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges

Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges

Date: August 26, 2009
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Description: This report assesses the effects of the absence of intelligence authorization legislation since FY2005. Since FY2005, no annual intelligence authorization bill has been enacted. Although the National Security Act requires intelligence activities to be specifically authorized, this requirement has been satisfied in recent years by one-sentence catch-all provisions in defense appropriations acts authorizing intelligence activities.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Government Collection of Private Information: Background and Issues Related to the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization

Government Collection of Private Information: Background and Issues Related to the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization

Date: December 23, 2009
Creator: Henning, Anna C.; Bazan, Elizabeth B.; Doyle, Charles & Liu, Edward C.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Government Collection of Private Information: Background and Issues Related to the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization

Government Collection of Private Information: Background and Issues Related to the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization

Date: December 9, 2009
Creator: Henning, Anna C.; Bazan, Elizabeth B.; Doyle, Charles & Liu, Edward C.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Intelligence Issues for Congress

Intelligence Issues for Congress

Date: July 12, 2006
Creator: Best, Jr., Richard A.
Description: To address the challenges facing the U.S. Intelligence Community in the 21st century, congressional and executive branch initiatives have sought to improve coordination among the different agencies and to encourage better analysis. In December 2004, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act was signed, providing for a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) with substantial authorities to manage the national intelligence effort. Making cooperation effective presents substantial leadership and managerial challenges. International terrorism in particular presents a difficult analytical challenge. Counterterrorism requires the close coordination of intelligence and law enforcement agencies, but there remain many institutional and procedural issues that complicate cooperation between the two sets of agencies.
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
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