On May 2, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released its annual transparency report:
Today, consistent with the USA FREEDOM Act requirements to release certain statistics (codified in 50 U.S.C. § 1873(b)) and the Intelligence Community’s (IC) Principles of Intelligence Transparency, we are releasing our fourth Annual Statistical Transparency Report presenting statistics on how often the government uses certain national security authorities.
The report includes statistics that go beyond the requirements of the USA FREEDOM Act. In addition, the report has been reformatted to provide a description of the statistics being reported, and to include relevant definitions and additional context.
“As a community, we look for new ways to enhance transparency,” said Alex Joel, who leads ODNI’s Office of Civil Liberties, Privacy, and Transparency. “Our goal is to provide relevant information, distilled into an accessible format. This year’s report leans forward in that direction, providing significant information beyond what’s statutorily required, and reflecting our concerted effort to enhance clarity.”
In June 2014, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) began releasing statistics relating to the use of critical national security authorities, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), in an annual report called the Statistical Transparency Report Regarding Use of National Security Authorities (hereafter the Annual Statistical Transparency Report). Subsequent Annual Statistical Transparency Reports were released in 2015 and 2016.
On June 2, 2015, the USA FREEDOM Act was enacted, codifying a requirement to publicly report many of the statistics already reported in the Annual Statistical Transparency Report. The Act also expanded the scope of the information included in the reports by requiring the DNI to report information concerning United States person search terms and queries of certain FISA-acquired information, as well as specific statistics concerning information collected pursuant to call detail records. See 50 U.S.C. § 1873(b).