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Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: A Sketch of Selected Issues

Description: This report briefly outlines three issues relating to electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and touches upon some of the perspectives reflected in the ongoing debate. These issues include the inherent and often dynamic tension between national security and civil liberties, particularly rights of privacy and free speech; the need for the intelligence community to be able to efficiently and effectively collect foreign intelligence information from the communications of foreign persons located outside the United States in a changing, fast-paced, and technologically sophisticated international environment or from United States persons abroad, and the differing approaches suggested to meet this need; and limitations of liability for those electronic communication service providers who furnish aid to the federal government in its foreign intelligence collection. Two constitutional provisions, in particular, are implicated in this debate — the Fourth and First Amendments. This report briefly examines these issues and sets them in context.
Date: July 7, 2008
Creator: Bazan, Elizabeth B.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: An Overview of Selected Issues

Description: This report briefly outlines some of the perspectives reflected in the ongoing debate related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) focusing on three issues: tension between national security and civil liberties, collection of foreign intelligence information from foreign persons, and limitations on liability for telecommunications providers furnishing aid to the government.
Date: July 7, 2008
Creator: Bazan, Elizabeth B.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: An Overview of the Statutory Framework and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review Decisions

Description: This report discusses the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, and other related amendments that were included in the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002.
Date: February 15, 2007
Creator: Bazan, Elizabeth B.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: Comparison of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3773 and the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3773

Description: This report provides an overview and review of legislative activity related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). It also includes a detailed side-by-side comparison of the proposals to address FISA concerns: Senate Amendment to H.R. 3773 and the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3773.
Date: June 12, 2008
Creator: Bazan, Elizabeth B.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Government Access to Phone Calling Activity and Related Records: Legal Authorities

Description: This report summarizes legal authorities regarding access by the government, for either foreign intelligence or law enforcement purposes, to information related to telephone calling patterns or practices. Where pertinent, it also discusses statutory prohibitions against accessing or disclosing such information, along with relevant exceptions to those prohibitions.
Date: February 2, 2010
Creator: Bazan, Elizabeth B.; Liu, Edward C. & Stevens, Gina
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Government Access to Phone Calling Activity and Related Records: Legal Authorities

Description: This report summarizes legal authorities regarding access by the government, for either foreign intelligence or law enforcement purposes, to information related to telephone calling patterns or practices. Where pertinent, it also discusses statutory prohibitions against accessing or disclosing such information, along with relevant exceptions to those prohibitions.
Date: February 2, 2009
Creator: Bazan, Elizabeth B.; Liu, Edward C. & Stevens, Gina
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions

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.
Date: December 27, 2011
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Director of National Intelligence and Intelligence Analysis

Description: The 9/11 Commission made a number of recommendations to improve the quality of intelligence analysis. A key recommendation was the establishment of a Director of National Intelligence (DNI) position to manage the national intelligence effort and serve as the principal intelligence adviser to the President — along with a separate director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Subsequently, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, P.L. 108-458, made the DNI the principal adviser to the President on intelligence and made the DNI responsible for coordinating communitywide intelligence estimates. Some observers note that separating the DNI from the analytical offices may complicate the overall analytical effort.
Date: February 11, 2005
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Homeland Security: Intelligence Support

Description: Legislation establishing a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (P.L. 107-296) included provisions for an information analysis element within the new department. It did not transfer to DHS existing government intelligence and law enforcement agencies but envisioned an analytical office utilizing the products of other agencies — both unevaluated information and finished reports — to provide warning of terrorist attacks, assessments of vulnerability, and recommendations for remedial actions at federal, state, and local levels, and by the private sector. In January 2003, the Administration announced its intention to establish a new Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) to undertake many of the tasks envisioned for the DHS informational analysis element, known as Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection (IAIP), but some Members of Congress argue that TTIC cannot be a substitute for a DHS analytical effort. This report examines different approaches to improving the information analysis function and the sharing of information among federal agencies.
Date: February 23, 2004
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department