In its first ever challenge contest, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity is seeking to use data to measure the trustworthiness of individuals.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved two proposals from President Obama to reform surveillance programs Feb. 5. The National Security Agency will now be allowed to query the telephony metadata it collects only following a court finding that reasonable, articulable suspicion exists that the telephone number is associated with an international terrorist group. Previously, it was up to the NSA to decide if its suspicion was reasonable and articulable. President Obama proposed the change during a speech Jan. 17.
Whether or not the intelligence community's bulk storage of telephony metadata has actually prevented a terrorist attack shouldn't be the only metric by which the program's efficacy should be measured, said Attorney General Eric Holder.
The final version of a new White House open government action plan is substantially expanded from a recently circulated preliminary draft – although many of the actions called for in the plan aren't new initiatives.
"The intelligence community is not designed and built for transparency. We're designed and built for the opposite," said Alexander Joel, the ODNI's civil liberties protection officer. He spoke on a panel at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies Dec. 4.
A regulation jointly proposed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Office of Personnel Management to update the position-designation process is inadequate, said a Government Accountability Office official. The proposed regulation is "a good step" toward meeting GAOs recommendations for updating security clearance issuance at agencies, said Brenda Farrell, director of defense capabilities and management at GAO. However, implementation guidance still needs to be developed.
Intelligence officials Wednesday said they oppose a law that would require them to disclose the number of Americans whose communications are swept up in surveillance of foreigners on the grounds that there's no reliable way to do so. During a Nov. 13 Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing, ODNI General Counsel Robert Litt said counting the number of affected Americans "is operationally very difficult, at least without an extraordinary investment of resources and maybe not even then."
Sequestration cut an already-declining intelligence community budget by more than $4 billion in fiscal 2013, recently released statistics from the Defense Department and the National Intelligence Director show.
Intelligence officials pushed back against proposals to end the bulk storage of telephony metadata, telling a Nov. 4 oversight panel that limiting metadata collection to cases when the records can be tied to particular individuals would make counterterrorism efforts more difficult.
A bill introduced Oct. 29 in the House and the Senate would restrict intelligence community data collection and storage, although intelligence officials that same day continued their defense of the status quo, with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warning a House panel of "potential negative long-term impact of overcorrecting the authorizations granted to the intelligence community."