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.