Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

ABOUT BROWSE FEED

Court-Ordered Access to Smart Phones: In Brief

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.
Date: February 23, 2016
Creator: Finklea, Kristin; Thompson, Richard M., II & Jaikaran, Chris
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intelligence Estimates: How Useful to Congress?

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.
Date: November 24, 2010
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: December 16, 2014
Creator: Miles, Anne Daugherty
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intelligence Community Spending: Trends and Issues

Description: This report examines Intelligence Community (IC) funding over the past several decades, with an emphasis on the period from 2007-2017--the period in which total national and military intelligence program (NIP and MIP) spending dollars have been publicly disclosed on an annual basis. Intelligence-related spending (such as the Homeland Security Intelligence Program) that does not fall within the NIP and MIP is outside the scope of this report.
Date: November 8, 2016
Creator: Daugherty Miles, Anne
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities and Recent Developments

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.
Date: April 1, 2014
Creator: Liu, Edward C.; Nolan, Andrew & Thompson, Richard M., II
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities

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.
Date: May 21, 2015
Creator: Liu, Edward C. & Nolan, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: December 27, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Homeland Security Intelligence: Perceptions, Statutory Definitions, and Approaches

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.
Date: January 14, 2009
Creator: Randol, Mark A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: August 26, 2014
Creator: Nolan, Andrew & Thompson, Richard M., II
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations

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.
Date: April 24, 2013
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Terrorist Financing: The 9/11 Commission Recommendation

Description: This report discusses the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the U.S. government shift the focus of its efforts to counter terrorist financing from a strategy based on seizing terrorist assets to a strategy based on exploiting intelligence gathered from financial investigations.
Date: February 25, 2005
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

USA PATRIOT Act Sunset: A Sketch

Description: This report discusses the sunset of a handful of communications-related sections of the USA PATRIOT Act and the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act on March 10, 2006. The authority of the expiring sections remains in effect only as it relates to foreign intelligence investigations begun before sunset or to offenses or potential offenses begun or occurring before that date. Thereafter, the law reverts to its previous form unless it has been amended in the interim or subsequently renewed.
Date: February 6, 2006
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Renewed Crypto Wars?

Description: This report briefly examines renewed tensions between tech companies and the government regarding encryption "back doors" and how quickly-advancing technologies could impact law enforcement investigations.
Date: February 9, 2016
Creator: Finklea, Kristin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: March 2, 2010
Creator: Henning, Anna C.; Bazan, Elizabeth B.; Doyle, Charles & Liu, Edward C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges

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.
Date: February 24, 2009
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges

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.
Date: January 27, 2010
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges

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.
Date: August 26, 2009
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: December 23, 2009
Creator: Henning, Anna C.; Bazan, Elizabeth B.; Doyle, Charles & Liu, Edward C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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