Keynote remarks from Office of the Director of National Intelligence General Counsel, Robert S. Litt given on February 28, 2014 at the LENS Conference held by Duke University’s Center on Law, Ethics and National Security.
Department of Justice Releases Documents on Pen Registers and Trap and Trace Applications to the FISC
March 4, 2014
On Friday, the Attorney General through the Department of Justice, declassified and released 24 documents that were responsive to a portion of a Freedom of Information Act request by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. These one-page documents, titled “The Attorney General’s Report on the Use of Pen Registers and Trap and Trace Devices under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act,” are reports to the Congressional intelligence and judiciary committees that identify how many applications the U.S. Government filed with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) seeking authorization to use pen registers and/or trap and trace devices, and how many the FISC authorized, during specific time periods. The documents cover the time period from 2001 through 2012.
Office of the Director of National Intelligence Public Affairs
Edited 03/04/14 at 5:15 EST — An earlier version of this release did not reflect that the Congressional judiciary committees also received the Attorney General’s reports. The original statement also indicated a date range for the released documents through 2013. To clarify, while the final document is dated 2013 it reports on numbers from 2012.
Joint Statement by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Attorney General Eric Holder on the Declassification of Additional Documents Regarding Collection Under Section 501 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
February 12, 2014
On Jan. 3, 2014, the Director of National Intelligence declassified and disclosed publicly that the U.S. government had filed an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking renewal of the authority to collect telephony metadata in bulk, and that, on Jan. 3, 2014, the court renewed that authority. The Director of National Intelligence also announced that the Administration was undertaking a declassification review of the court’s Jan. 3 primary order.
During his speech on Jan. 17, 2014, President Obama ordered a transition that will end the Section 215 bulk telephony metadata program as it currently exists, and establish a mechanism that preserves the capabilities this country needs without the U.S. Government holding this bulk data.
As a first step in that transition, the President directed the Department of Justice to work with the FISC to ensure that, absent a true emergency, the telephony metadata can only be queried after a judicial finding that there is a reasonable, articulable suspicion that the selection term is associated with an approved international terrorist organization. The President also directed that the query results must be limited to metadata within two hops of the selection term instead of three. As previously announced on Feb. 6, 2014, to put these two changes into effect, the Department of Justice filed a motion with the FISC to amend its Jan. 3, 2014, primary order that renewed the authority to collect telephony metadata under Section 215. On Feb. 5, 2014, the FISC granted the motion.
Following a declassification review by the Executive Branch, today the FISC released in redacted form the previously classified Jan. 3, 2014, primary order, signed by Judge Thomas Hogan, re-authorizing the collection of bulk telephony metadata under Section 215. The order re-affirms that the bulk telephony metadata collection is lawful. The authorization expires on Mar. 28, 2014. The FISC also released in redacted form the U.S. Government’s previously classified motion to amend the Jan. 3, 2014, primary order, as well as the previously classified Feb. 5, 2014, order granting that motion, signed by Judge Reggie Walton.
The motion and two orders are available at the FISC’s website, www.uscourts.gov; the website of the Department of Justice, www.justice.gov; the website of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, www.dni.gov; and ODNI’s public website dedicated to fostering greater public visibility into the intelligence activities of the Government, ICOntheRecord.tumblr.com.
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Primary Order, BR 14-01 (Jan. 3, 2014)
Motion to Amend Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Primary Order, Docket No. BR 14-01 (Feb. 5, 2014) and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Order Granting Motion to Amend, Docket No. BR 14-01 (Feb. 5, 2014)
List of Permissible Uses of Signals Intelligence Collected in Bulk
February 10, 2014
Presidential Policy Directive/PPD-28 – Signals Intelligence Activities establishes a process for determining the permissible uses of nonpublicly available signals intelligence that the United States collects in bulk. It also directs the Director of National Intelligence to “maintain a list of permissible uses of signals intelligence collected in bulk” and make the list “publicly available to the maximum extent feasible, consistent with the national security.”
Consistent with that directive, I am hereby releasing the current list of permissible uses of nonpublicly available signals intelligence that the United States collects in bulk.
Signals intelligence collected in “bulk” is defined as “the authorized collection of large quantities of signals intelligence data which, due to technical or operational considerations, is acquired without the use of discriminants (e.g., specific identifiers, selection terms, etc.).” As of Jan. 17, 2014, nonpublicly available signals intelligence collected by the United States in bulk may be used by the United States “only for the purposes of detecting and countering:
- Espionage and other threats and activities directed by foreign powers or their intelligence services against the United States and its interests;
- Threats to the United States and its interests from terrorism;
- Threats to the United States and its interests from the development, possession, proliferation, or use of weapons of mass destruction;
- Cybersecurity threats;
- Threats to U.S. or allied Armed Forces or other U.S. or allied personnel; and
- Transnational criminal threats, including illicit finance and sanctions evasion related to the other purposes named above.”
Further, as prescribed in PPD-28, “in no event may signals intelligence collected in bulk be used for the purpose of suppressing or burdening criticism or dissent; disadvantaging persons based on their ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, or religion; affording a competitive advantage to U.S. companies and U.S. business sectors commercially;” or achieving any purpose other than those identified above.
James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence
RFI – Telephony Metadata Collection Program
February 7, 2014
In his remarks on January 17, 2014, President Obama announced a number of actions with regards to certain intelligence activities, including the bulk collection of telephony metadata under Section 215. As part of this effort, the President directed the development of “options for a new approach that can match the capabilities and fill the gaps that the Section 215 program was designed to address without the government holding this metadata”.
Consistent with this direction, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence is seeking information about whether existing commercially available capabilities can provide for a new approach to the government’s telephony metadata bulk collection program under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, without the government holding the metadata.
Solicitation Number: ODNI-RFI-14-01
Agency: Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Office: ADNI Acquisition Technology & Facilities
Location: AT&F Buying Office
This RFI is intended to obtain information on U.S. industry’s existing commercially available capabilities that could provide viable alternative approaches to the current Section 215 program without the government holding the metadata, while maintaining the current capabilities of that system and the existing protections for U.S. persons.
Responses to this RFI will be reviewed and may help to shape the framework for the future telephony metadata program to include the potential for non-government maintenance of that data.
The Request for Information was posted to FedBizOpps.gov on February 5, 2014.
FISC Approves Government’s Request to Modify Telephony Metadata Program
February 6, 2014
During his speech on Jan. 17, 2014, President Obama ordered a transition that will end the Section 215 bulk telephony metadata program as it currently exists, and establish a mechanism that preserves the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk data. As a first step in that transition, the President directed the Attorney General to work with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to ensure that, absent a true emergency, the telephony metadata can only be queried after a judicial finding that there is a reasonable, articulable suspicion that the selection term is associated with an approved international terrorist organization. The President also directed that the query results must be limited to metadata within two hops of the selection term instead of three.
To put these two changes into effect, the Department of Justice filed a motion with the FISC to amend its most recent Jan. 3, 2014, primary order approving the production of telephony metadata collection under Section 215. Yesterday, the FISC granted the government’s motion. In addition, the FISC ordered the government to do a classification review by Feb. 17, 2014, of the Jan. 3 primary order, the government’s motion to amend that order, and the order granting the motion. Following completion of the review, the motion and two orders will be published as appropriate on the FISC’s website, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence will post them to its website and icontherecord.tumblr.com.
James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence
Lawfare Podcast Episode #60: Wherein We Talk to DNI General Counsel Robert Litt
February 1, 2014
Robert Litt, the general counsel to the director of national intelligence, has emerged as one of the administration’s point men on response to the Snowden revelations, the defense of the intelligence community, and reform of intelligence authorities. In the wake of the President’s NSA speech, he stopped by the Brookings Institution on Monday to discuss implementation of the President’s proposed reforms—and a variety of other matters arising from the Snowden disclosures.
NSA Announces New Civil Liberties and Privacy Officer
January 29, 2013
GEN Keith Alexander - Commander, U.S. Cyber Command/Director, NSA/Chief, CSS - announced today that well-known privacy expert Rebecca Richards will serve as the National Security Agency’s new Civil Liberties and Privacy Officer. She most recently worked as the Senior Director for Privacy Compliance at the Department of Homeland Security.
Selected to lead the new NSA Civil Liberties and Privacy Office at the agency’s Fort Meade headquarters, Ms. Richards’ primary job will be to provide expert advice to the Director and oversight of NSA’s civil liberties and privacy related activities. She will also develop measures to further strengthen NSA’s privacy protections.
Last summer, in a statement about reforms to NSA’s foreign intelligence programs, President Obama announced several initiatives to give the public greater confidence in the oversight of these programs. The creation of a full-time Civil Liberties and Privacy Officer at NSA was among the reforms cited.
Ms. Richards’ efforts will be in addition to the ongoing work of the agency’s Office of the General Counsel and its Office of the Director of Compliance.
"NSA continues to take positive actions to ensure we protect both civil liberties and national security," GEN Alexander said. "After a rigorous and lengthy interview process, I’ve selected an expert whose background will bring additional perspectives and insight to our foreign intelligence activities. I’m confident that Ms. Richards is the right person with the right experience for the job. She will report directly to me and will advise me and our senior leadership team to ensure privacy and civil liberties considerations remain a vital driver for all our strategic decisions, particularly in the areas of technology and processes."
The American people, he continued, “count on the men and women of NSA to do their job to keep us safe at home and abroad. As rules and oversight evolve over time, adding a single official who is dedicated to these issues will help us stay on top of changes and bring new perspectives to how we can best consider civil liberties and privacy while conducting our mission. I also expect Ms. Richards will work closely with civil liberties and privacy experts outside of government to bring additional innovative practices to our existing civil liberties and privacy programs.”
NSA is a foreign intelligence agency that has been in the trenches of protecting the nation for more than 60 years. Unwavering in the commitment to national security and accountability, agency officials emphasize that earning the American public’s trust is paramount.
Remarks as delivered by James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence at the Worldwide Threat Assessment Hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
January 29, 2014
10:00 AM 216 Hart Senate Office Building, Capitol, Washington, D.C.
Madam Chairman, Vice Chairman, panelists and distinguished members of the committee, my colleagues and I here today present the intelligence community’s worldwide threat assessment as we do every year. I’ll cover five topics in about eight minutes on behalf of all of us.
As DNI, this is my fourth appearance before the committee to discuss the threats we face. I’ve made this next assertion previously, but it is, if anything, even more evident and relevant today.
Looking back over my more than half a century in intelligence I have not experienced a time when we’ve been beset by more crises and threats around the globe. My list is long.
It includes the scourge and diversification of terrorism, loosely connected and now globally dispersed to include here at home as exemplified by the Boston Marathon bombing; the sectarian war in Syria, its attraction as a growing center of radical extremism and the potential threat this poses to the homeland; the spillover of conflict in the neighboring Lebanon and Iraq; the destabilizing flood of refugees in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon; the implications of the drawdown in Afghanistan; the deteriorating internal security posture in Iraq; the growth of foreign cyber capabilities; the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, aggressive nation state intelligence efforts against us; an assertive Russia, a competitive China, a dangerous, unpredictable North Korea,a challenging Iran, lingering ethnic divisions in the Balkans, perpetual conflict and extremism in Africa, violent political struggles, and among others the Ukraine, Burma, Thailand and Bangladesh; the specter of mass atrocities; the increasing stress of burgeoning populations; the urgent demands for energy; water and food, the increasing sophistication of transnational crime; the tragedy and magnitude of human trafficking; the insidious rot of inventive synthetic drugs; the potential for pandemic disease occasioned by the growth of drug-resistant bacteria.
I could go on with this litany but suffice to say we live in a complex, dangerous world. And the statements for the record that we’ve submitted, particularly the classified version, provide a comprehensive review of these and other daunting challenges.
My second topic…
Joint Statement by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Attorney General Eric Holder on New Reporting Methods for National Security Orders
January 27, 2014
As indicated in the Justice Department’s filing with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the administration is acting to allow more detailed disclosures about the number of national security orders and requests issued to communications providers, the number of customer accounts targeted under those orders and requests, and the underlying legal authorities. Through these new reporting methods, communications providers will be permitted to disclose more information than ever before to their customers.
This action was directed by the President earlier this month in his speech on intelligence reforms. While this aggregate data was properly classified until today, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with other departments and agencies, has determined that the public interest in disclosing this information now outweighs the national security concerns that required its classification.
Permitting disclosure of this aggregate data addresses an important area of concern to communications providers and the public. But more work remains on other issues. In the weeks ahead, additional steps must be taken in order to fully implement the reforms directed by the President.
The declassification reflects the Executive Branch’s continuing commitment to making information about the government’s intelligence activities publicly available where appropriate and is consistent with ensuring the protection of the national security of the United States.