A New Executive Order on Intelligence Case Study

Table of Contents
  1. Introduction
  2. Main physique
  3. Conclusion
  4. References

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This background paper on “A New Executive Order on Intelligence” discusses a revision to Executive Order 12333 (EO 12333) addressing one of many oversight issues. The drawback to be mentioned refers back to the by the way obtained info from United States individuals and points it might trigger. The paper suggests adjustments and enhancements to the Executive Order and the present United States laws as a way to adjust to the norms of a democratic society. It requires consideration by the senior United States Senator for Texas, John Cornyn.

Main physique

EO 12333 serves nationwide safety functions implying surveillance and knowledge assortment actions. According to EO 12333, knowledge assortment is aimed toward “foreign powers, organizations, and persons, and their agents” for the aim of creating knowledgeable selections on nationwide safety and protection points (Office of the Director, 2012, p. 744). However, the Executive Order additionally permits by the way obtained info which will embody info from United States individuals (Office of the Director, 2012, p. 746). It is price noting that the definition of United States particular person implies not solely U.S. residents but in addition everlasting resident aliens (Office of the Director, 2012, p. 752). The definition additionally refers to an “unincorporated association substantially composed of United States citizens or permanent resident aliens, or a corporation incorporated in the United States” (Office of the Director, 2012, p. 752). It is feasible to agree that circumstances involving incidental knowledge assortment could also be topic to concern.

There are some causes to consider that the talked about facet isn’t sufficiently regulated and restricted. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) notes that incidental assortment happens quite ceaselessly (“Report on the surveillance,” 2014). According to the PCLOB, when gathering info from targets, info from people who find themselves on the opposite aspect of communication is collected as effectively (“Report on the surveillance,” 2014). In a big variety of circumstances, these individuals could also be United States individuals. For regulation of such circumstances of incidental assortment, the federal government is obliged to observe minimization procedures proscribing using details about United States individuals. However, in response to the United States Signals Intelligence Directive SP0018 (USSID 18), the identification of a U. S. particular person could also be revealed whether it is essential for the understanding of the overseas intelligence knowledge (“USSID SP0018,” 2011). Thus, the effectiveness of minimization procedures could also be restricted in accordance with sure paperwork.

In addition, the problem of by the way obtained info for a very long time has been inflicting debates and unrest in society leading to public researches. For occasion, in 2014, The Washington Post printed an article the place the existence of the MYSTIC program was revealed (Gellman & Soltani, 2014). This program allowed the NSA to gather and retailer the content material of phone calls. According to The New York Times, the NSA can acquire any info that serves “foreign intelligence purposes” that could be a quite broad criterion (Savage, 2014, para. 30). Thus, one could conclude that controversy round that subject additionally proves that it requires extra detailed consideration.

In order to resolve the recognized drawback, it’s essential to offer particular adjustments and enhancements to the present order. These adjustments could embody however should not restricted by growing privateness requirements of information assortment, utilizing and storing, and narrowing some facets and ideas of EO 12333. For occasion, the definition of “foreign intelligence” could sound broad. According to EO 12333, overseas intelligence is “information relating to the capabilities, intentions, or activities of foreign governments or elements thereof, foreign organizations, foreign persons, or international terrorists” (Office of the Director, 2012, p. 750). The definition could indicate that, for example, a dialogue referring to the connection of the USA and a sure overseas authorities or dialogue on a terrorist assault might be thought-about as overseas intelligence info. In this regard, the time period could also be specified within the following means “excluding information that is considered a subjective opinion and does not imply or entail actions posing a danger to national security.”

An further and, ultimately, a radical initiative would be the group of a referendum that may enable U.S. residents to specific their opinion relating to the gathering and storage of their knowledge. As the incidental knowledge assortment could relate not solely to nationwide safety points but in addition to the problem of constitutional rights, this drawback issues not solely the federal government but in addition every of its residents. Thus, it’s potential to agree that one of many methods could embody resolving this subject with the assistance of the democratic course of.

Making adjustments to the present order or selling extra radical initiatives could have each execs and cons. The referendum, relying on its end result, could trigger such penalties because the prohibition of gathering any private knowledge from U. S. individuals, which can restrict the powers of overseas intelligence. The narrowing of the overseas intelligence time period can also lead to sure limitations to the federal government companies actions. One could assume that the promotion of a decrease stage directive may assist to keep away from such vital penalties. However, the proposed initiatives are aimed primarily on the pursuits of the individuals, which is per the values of a democratic state.

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It is feasible to argue that it’s not essential to take any actions to vary the present order and moreover regulate the by the way obtained info as all fears of information assortment should not justified. According to Joel (2014), the civil liberties safety officer for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, “EO 12333 requires procedures to minimize how an agency collects, retains or disseminates U.S. person information” (para. 7). These procedures present strict verification, set up a timeframe for the storage interval of knowledge, and exclude using such knowledge as names, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses. In circumstances when the identification of a U. S. particular person is required for overseas intelligence functions, in stories, this particular person is normally recognized in a generic means like a “U.S. Person 1”. Joel (2014) notes {that a} U. S. particular person identification is revealed solely in a strictly restricted set of circumstances. Thus, EO 12333 procedures decrease potential circumstances of violation of human rights via using private knowledge.

The authorities system is multi-layered, and plenty of authorities companies and departments management all knowledge assortment actions. Joel (2014) claims that intelligence companies carry out actions on nationwide safety and protection, defending private info, and never contradicting to American democratic processes. EO 12333 states intelligence actions are carried out in accordance with “the legal rights of all United States persons, including freedoms, civil liberties, and privacy rights guaranteed by Federal law” (Office of the Director, 2012, p. 727). Thus, the federal government goals to guard the private knowledge of U. S. individuals. However, it’s price noting that the refusal to make any adjustments to EO 12333 could entail additional public disputes. It can also trigger potential circumstances of abuse of authority by authorities officers such because the intentional assortment of non-public knowledge from U. S. individuals.


One could conclude that there are arguments each in favor of revising Executive Order 12333 and in opposition to taking any actions. However, the highlighted subject requires additional consideration as a way to take advantage of knowledgeable determination. When contemplating this subject, it’s essential to keep up a steadiness with out contradicting the pursuits of nationwide safety and protection and stopping violations of the constitutional rights of U. S. individuals.


Gellman, B., & Soltani, A. (2014). NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay telephone calls. The Washington Post. Web.

Joel, A. W. (2014). The reality about Executive Order 12333. Web.

Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Ed.). (2012). Intelligence group authorized reference e-book. Washington, DC.

Report on the surveillance program operated pursuant to part 702 of the overseas intelligence surveillance act. (2014). Web.

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Savage, C. (2014). Reagan-era order on surveillance violates rights, says departing aide. The New York Times. Web.

USSID SP0018. (2011). Web.

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