Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's personal statements on new surveillance guidelines

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“Today, President Obama announced new guidelines for Intelligence Community foreign intelligence surveillance programs. His decisions were guided by recommendations from the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and in close consultation with Congress and Intelligence Community leaders,” Mr. Clapper said in a statement shared with The Washington Times.

“The President took a measured and thoughtful approach to the initiatives he announced today. His reforms are focused on striking the right balance between making sure we have the tools necessary to conduct intelligence, and ensuring that we are being as transparent as possible and abiding by protocols that protect the civil liberties and privacy of all Americans. He reminded us that as technology advances, we continue to face new and evolving threats to our national security and must adjust our policies and practices to ensure that our intelligence activities are both necessary and appropriate.”

“In the coming weeks, we will work with our oversight committees to implement the President’s reforms while we continue to focus on the intelligence challenges facing the United States and our allies.” Mr. Clapper said.

“As intelligence professionals, we have historically preferred to avoid the spotlight, but we know that for the foreseeable future, the public will remain focused on what we do and how we do it. To build on and maintain the trust of the American people and our international partners, we must embrace the President’s call for transparency.”

“As the President said, the men and women of the Intelligence Community perform extraordinarily difficult jobs, in which success is rarely celebrated but is vital to our national security. We conduct the lawful foreign activities that have been instrumental in preventing a multitude of attacks and saved scores of innocent lives - not just here in the United States, but around the globe.”

In a second statement, Mr. Clapper also revealed what documents - pertaining to Sections 501 (commonly referred to as Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act) and 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act - have been newly declassified:

“Today I authorized the declassification and public release of additional documents relating to collection under Section 501. Today’s release brings the total to approximately 2,300 pages of documents released by the U.S. Government, including 44 Orders and Opinions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), 11 pleadings and other documents submitted to the FISC, 24 documents provided to Congress, and 20 reports, training slides, and other internal documents describing the legal basis for the programs and how they operate.”

“In addition, I released more than 400 pages of documents detailing the existence of collection activities authorized by former President Bush. These documents were properly classified, and their declassification was not done lightly. These releases reflect the Executive Branch’s continuing commitment to make information about the implementation of Sections 501 and 702 publicly available when appropriate, while ensuring the protection of the national security of the United States. Because these documents include discussion of matters that must remain classified so as to protect national security, it was necessary to redact some information from them.”

“The documents being released today comprise orders from the FISC approving the National Security Agency’s collection and use of telephony metadata under Section 501. These orders provide additional information regarding the controls imposed by the FISC on the processing, dissemination, security and oversight of telephony metadata acquired under Section 501. This includes the Court’s imposition of additional controls in response to compliance incidents that were discovered by NSA and then reported to the FISC.”

These orders are available at the website of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence here, and ODNI’s public website here

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