FAS Roundup: January 7, 2013

Iran’s intelligence ministry, intelligence oversight and public accountability, new CRS reports and much more.

From the Blogs

  • Senate Passes Intelligence Bill Without Anti-Leak Measures: On December 28, the Senate passed the FY2013 intelligence authorization act after most of the controversial provisions intended to combat leaks had been removed. The provisions that were removed from the final bill included restrictions on background briefings for the press, limits on media commentary by former government officials, and authority for the DNI to unilaterally revoke the pension of a suspected leaker.

  • Intelligence Oversight Steps Back from Public Accountability: The move by Congress to renew the FISA Amendments Act for five more years without amendments came as a bitter disappointment to civil libertarians who believe that the Act emphasizes government surveillance authority at the expense of constitutional protections. Beyond the specifics of the surveillance law, the congressional action appears to reflect a reorientation of intelligence oversight away from public accountability.  Steven Aftergood writes that the congressional intelligence committees once presented themselves as champions of disclosure, but they no longer do so.
  • An Open Source Look at Iran’s Intelligence Ministry: Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security is believed to employ more than 30,000 intelligence officers and support personnel, making it “one of the largest and most active intelligence agencies in the Middle East,” according to a new report from the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress. The new report provides an informative account of the Ministry’s history, organizational structure, and recruitment practices, as far as these can be discerned from published sources.


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