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ODNI Issues Report on Use of National Security Surveillance Authorities; Ben Huebner Quoted

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Ben Huebner
Ben Huebner ODNI

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has issued its annual statistical transparency report on the U.S. intelligence community’s use of national security surveillance authorities. The report offers information on the government’s use of National Security Letters and authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, ODNI said Friday. 

“The Intelligence Community remains committed to providing the public with information about how we apply important national security authorities,” said Ben Huebner, chief of the office of civil liberties, privacy and transparency at ODNI.

“The information in today’s report will help foster continued public dialogue regarding how the Intelligence Community protects national security, our privacy, and our liberty,” added Huebner.

The eight annual statistical transparency report also offers insight into the oversight framework -including oversight performed by independent legislative and judicial entities – that protects the privacy and civil liberties of U.S. persons and non-U.S. persons whose information is collected in accordance with national security authorities. 

Titles I and III and Sections 703 and 704 of FISA resulted in 524 “probable cause” court orders with an estimated total target of 451 in the calendar year 2020, according to the report. 

The total number of National Security Letters issued in 2020 reached 9,682, while requests for information hit a total of 24,225 in the previous calendar year.