Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse of the Legal Background and Recent Amendments
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.
Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges
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)
Homeland Security Intelligence: Perceptions, Statutory Definitions, and Approaches
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.
Smartphone Data Encryption: A Renewed Boundary for Law Enforcement?
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.
Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: Procedural and Operational Changes
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.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations
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.
Government Collection of Private Information: Background and Issues Related to the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization
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.
Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges
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.
Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges
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.
Intelligence Authorization Legislation: Status and Challenges
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.
Government Collection of Private Information: Background and Issues Related to the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization
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.
Government Collection of Private Information: Background and Issues Related to the USA PATRIOT Act Reauthorization
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.
The Intelligence Appropriations Process: Issues for Congress
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.
The National Intelligence Council (NIC): Issues and Options for Congress
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.
The National Intelligence Council: Issues and Options for Congress
The purpose of this report to describe the statutory provisions that authorize the National Intelligence Council (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.
National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: Legal Background and Recent Amendments
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.
Sensitive Covert Action Notifications: Oversight Options for Congress
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.
The Department of Homeland Security Intelligence Enterprise: Operational Overview and Oversight Challenges for Congress
This report provides an overview of Department of Homeland Security Intelligence (DHSI) both at headquarters and within the components. It examines how DHSI is organized and supports key departmental activities to include homeland security analysis and threat warning; border security; critical infrastructure protection; and support to, and the sharing of information with, state, local, tribal, and private sector partners. It also discusses several oversight challenges and options that Congress may consider on certain issues.
Intelligence Issues for Congress
This report discusses legislative initiatives to address the challenges facing the U.S. Intelligence Community in the 21st century.
Intelligence Issues for Congress
This report discusses legislative initiatives to address the challenges facing the U.S. Intelligence Community in the 21st century.
Intelligence Issues for Congress
This report discusses legislative initiatives to address the challenges facing the U.S. Intelligence Community in the 21st century.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: An Overview of Selected Issues
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.
Homeland Security Intelligence: Perceptions, Statutory Definitions, and Approaches
Although the activities involved in homeland security intelligence (HSINT) itself are not new, the relative importance of state, local, and private sector stakeholders; the awareness of how law enforcement information might protect national security; and the importance attached to homeland security intelligence have all increased substantially since the events of September 11, 2001. This report provides a potential conceptual model of how to frame 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). While this community may not necessarily be a useful construct from a management perspective, it is nevertheless a community as traditionally defined. Although the HSIC’s members are diffused across the nation, they share a common counterterrorism interest.
Paris Attacks and "Going Dark": Intelligence-Related Issues to Consider
This report discusses intelligence efforts on tracking numerous individuals involved in the deadly assault in Paris on November 13, 2015.
Terrorist Financing: The 9/11 Commission Recommendation
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.
USA PATRIOT Act Sunset: A Sketch
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.
Renewed Crypto Wars?
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.
Intelligence Issues for Congress
This report discusses the efforts currently underway to improve coordination and encourage better analysis amongst the various agencies within the U.S. Intelligence Community, especially with regard to the ongoing and prominent issue of international terrorism. In particular, this report addresses the false intelligence regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and the current efforts in Iraq and Iran in general.
USA PATRIOT Act Sunset: Provisions That Were to Expire on December 31, 2005
This report examines various provisions of the Patriot Act that were set to expire on December 31, 2005. Their expiration date has been postponed until March 10, 2006. The expiring sections deal with the power of federal authorities to conduct searches and seizures, generally searches and seizures relating to communications.
The U.S. Intelligence Community: Selected Cross-Cutting Issues
This report focuses on cross-cutting management issues that affect the Intelligence Community's (IC's) ability to counter "pervasive and emerging threats" to the United States and balance resources both appropriately and wisely. The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is charged with integrating the community of intelligence agencies so that they operate effectively as one team.
Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: Procedural and Operational Changes
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.
Intelligence Community Programs, Management, and Enduring Issues
This report explains the management structure for the National Intelligence Program (NIP), and Military Intelligence Program (MIP), to include their two separate budget processes and the roles of the Director of National Intelligence and the Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence). The concluding section of this report considers the ability of the U.S. government to make the best use of its intelligence-related resources when: (1) total intelligence spending is impossible to calculate; (2) its management and oversight is completely decentralized; and (3) IC funding alone is largely divided into two categories (NIP and MIP)-- managed within the executive branch separately, justified to Congress separately, and overseen by separate congressional committees.
Intelligence Issues for Congress
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Intelligence Issues for Congress
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Intelligence Issues for Congress
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Intelligence to Counter Terrorism: Issues for Congress
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Intelligence to Counter Terrorism: Issues for Congress
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Intelligence to Counter Terrorism: Issues for Congress
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Intelligence Issues for Congress
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Intelligence Issues for Congress
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Intelligence Issues for Congress
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Intelligence Issues for Congress
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Intelligence Issues for Congress
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Intelligence Issues for Congress
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Intelligence Issues for Congress
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Intelligence Issues for Congress
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Intelligence Issues for Congress
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Intelligence Issues for Congress
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Intelligence Issues for Congress
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Intelligence Issues for Congress
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