Secrecy News

House Poised to Grant Arrest Powers to CIA, NSA

The House version of the 2007 intelligence authorization bill would grant CIA and NSA security personnel the authority to make arrests for “any felony” committed in their presence, no matter how remote from the foreign intelligence mission it might be, the Baltimore Sun reported today.

Section 423 of H.R. 5020 “appears…to grant to CIA security personnel powers that have little to do with the primary mission of ‘executive protection,’ and potentially creates a pretext for use or abuse of these powers for the purposes of general domestic law enforcement — something no element of the CIA has ever been empowered to perform,” wrote Danielle Brian of the Project on Government Oversight in a letter to members of the House Intelligence Committee opposing the provision.

Section 432 of the bill grants similar authority to NSA security personnel.

The bill also includes measures intended to increase penalties for unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

See “Congress cracking down on U.S. leaks” by Siobhan Gorman, Baltimore Sun, April 25.