New Guidelines Define NCTC Access to Non-Terror Databases
The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), a component of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, may obtain access to federal databases containing non-terrorism-related information in order to acquire information needed for authorized counterterrorism purposes, pursuant to a recent memorandum of agreement (pdf) between the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General.
“NCTC will access information in such datasets identified as containing non-terrorism information… only to determine if the dataset [also] contains terrorism information,” the memorandum states.
“NCTC is not otherwise permitted under these guidelines to query, use, or exploit such datasets (e.g., analysts may not ‘browse’ through records in the dataset that do not match a query with terrorism datapoints, or conduct ‘pattern-based’ queries or analyses without terrorism datapoints),” the memo directs.
The seven-page Memorandum of Agreement has not been approved for public release, but a copy was obtained by Secrecy News. It took effect on November 4, 2008.
“Most of the terrorists arrested in the U.S. have supported themselves with common criminal activities” and therefore NCTC would have a legitimate need for access to related law enforcement information, a senior intelligence official from another agency told Secrecy News.
The new memo “regularizes the process by which NCTC can access information not originally collected for intelligence purposes,” the official said. It also “inserts the ODNI Civil Liberties Protection Officer into the process with an affirmative role for the first time — I think.”
The memorandum makes the ODNI Civil Liberties Protection Officer responsible for ensuring that NCTC complies with privacy guidelines when accessing non-terrorism-related databases.
The FAS Nuclear Notebook is one of the most widely sourced reference materials worldwide for reliable information about the status of nuclear weapons, and has been published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987.. The Nuclear Notebook is researched and written by the staff of the Federation of American Scientists’ Nuclear Information Project: Director Hans […]
On 14 April 2023, the Belarusian Ministry of Defence released a short video of a Su-25 pilot explaining his new role in delivering “special [nuclear] munitions” following his training in Russia. The features seen in the video, as well as several other open-source clues, suggest that Lida Air Base––located only 40 kilometers from the Lithuanian border and the […]
A photo in a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) student briefing from 2022 shows four people inspecting what appears to be a damaged B61 nuclear bomb.
In early-February 2023, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) had informed Congress that China now has more launchers for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) than the United States. The report is the latest in a serious of revelations over the past four years about China’s growing nuclear weapons arsenal and the deepening […]