IC on the Record Guide to Posted Documents

This Guide provides links to certain officially released documents relating to U.S. Intelligence Community's use of national security authorities. The IC has published these documents to meet legal requirements, as well as to carry out the Principles of Intelligence Transparency for the IC. While this Guide highlights certain links for ease of reference; there are many more officially released documents available for public review.

New or updated entries since the last version of this Guide are denoted as NEW ITEM. Note that some new entries consist of links to previously posted information and are included here for ease of reference.



The Intelligence Community: General Information

2019 National Intelligence Strategy of the United States of America

The ODNI released the National Intelligence Strategy in January, 2019. For the first time, the NIS includes a standalone enterprise objective on Privacy, Civil Liberties, and Transparency.


Intelligence.gov (or Intel.gov) is the digital front door for the U.S. Intelligence Community, with a focus on increasing transparency about the IC’s authorities and activities. It works alongside IC on the Record (see below) and other IC resources—including the websites of IC agencies—to provide clear and accurate information about the IC.

The Intel Vault

Intel.gov includes the Intel Vault, which enables the public to explore repositories of officially released information about the IC.

In April, 2019, ODNI posted 49,000 pages of documents relating to human rights abuses under Argentina’s 1976-1983 dictatorship.

In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War’s Tet Offensive, the IC released several tranches of documents about the Offensive.

IC Elements

Intel.gov also describes each of the 18 elements of the IC, and includes links to their websites.

Full Text Search Capability

Intel.gov includes the capability to conduct full text searches on a database of all documents posted on IC on the Record, including the hundreds of documents relating to Section 702. Note that the database does not include documents the IC on the Record links to, but that are hosted on other sites.

IC on the Record

IC on the Record is an online platform maintained by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to provide officially released information about the IC, focusing primarily on foreign intelligence surveillance activities. Hundreds of documents and thousands of pages have been posted on this platform.

IC Policy Library

This list of active, unclassified policies is intended to foster public understanding about the policies that govern the IC’s activities.

IC Governance Framework

The United States has a multi-layered framework of rules and oversight designed to ensure that we exercise our authorities and use our capabilities properly. The IC Governance Framework Fact Sheet provides a short description of the general governance framework applicable to all intelligence activities.

IC Legal Reference Book

The text of many legal authorities relevant to the IC can be found in the IC Legal Reference Book, compiled by ODNI’s Office of the General Counsel and recently updated in 2020.

Intelligence Community Directive 107, Civil Liberties, Privacy, and Transparency

On February 28, 2018, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats issued a newly revised version of ICD 107. This directive was originally issued in 2012 to establish IC policy on protecting civil liberties and privacy. DNI Coats updated this directive to include transparency. With the reissuance of ICD 107, the IC has now firmly established transparency as a foundational element of securing public trust in the IC’s endeavors, alongside the protection of civil liberties and privacy. Read more about DNI Coats’ issuance memorandum regarding the updated ICD 107.

Principles of Intelligence Transparency for the IC

The Principles of Intelligence Transparency for the Intelligence Community are intended to facilitate IC decisions on making information publicly available in a manner that enhances public understanding of intelligence activities, while continuing to protect information when disclosure would harm national security. A fact sheet is available that provides key points regarding transparency within the IC community. 

Principles of Professional Ethics for the IC

The Principles of Professional Ethics for the Intelligence Community reflect the core values common to all elements of the U.S. Intelligence Community and distinguish the officers and employees of the IC as “intelligence professionals.”

Principles of AI Ethics for the IC 

In July 2020, the IC released The Principles of Artificial Intelligence Ethics for the Intelligence Community that are intended to guide personnel on whether and how to develop and use AI, to include machine learning, in furtherance of the IC’s mission. To assist with the implementation of these Principles, the IC has also created an AI Ethics Framework to guide personnel who are determining whether and how to procure, design, build, use, protect, consume, and manage AI and other advanced analytics

Civil Liberties, Privacy, and Transparency Offices

Departments, agencies, and IC elements also provide information on how they protect civil liberties and privacy and enhance transparency. For example:

Inspectors General

Under the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, the role of federal inspectors general is to prevent and detect waste, fraud, and abuse relating to their agency’s programs and operations, and to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the agency’s operations and programs. Offices of Inspector General are located within their agencies but must conduct their audits, investigations, evaluations, and special reviews independently from their agencies.

The Intelligence Community Inspector General has a public website, which includes its public semiannual reports and annual work plans. The IC IG also maintains a website that provides information on IC whistleblowing and whistleblower protections.

Other agencies, either within the IC or whose oversight impacts IC activities maintain their own Offices of the Inspector General, with regular reporting on their agencies or areas of jurisdiction, including:

The Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency has established an oversight website, Oversight.gov, that provides the public access to IG reports and other information.

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) is an independent agency within the Executive Branch established by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. The bipartisan, five-member Board is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Chairman serves full time, while the four other Board Members serve in their positions part-time. The Board’s mission is to ensure that the federal government’s efforts to prevent terrorism are balanced with the need to protect privacy and civil liberties.​

Federal Privacy Council

The Federal Privacy Council is the principal government-wide interagency forum to improve the privacy practices of agencies and entities acting on their behalf.

Reports on Use of National Security Authorities

As detailed below, the ODNI, other IC agencies, the Department of Justice and the PCLOB have published reports on how the IC uses national security authorities. Some of these reports are published annually, such as ODNI’s Annual Statistical Report Regarding Use of National Security Authorities (discussed below and posted on ICOTR) and DOJ’s Annual FISA Report to Congress.

Annual Statistical Transparency Report Regarding Use of National Security Authorities

Since 2014, the ODNI has published the Annual Statistical Transparency Report (ASTR), which is an annual report that provides important information and statistics on how national security authorities are used. This report includes statistics required by the USA FREEDOM Act, as well as other statistics published pursuant to the Principles of Intelligence Transparency.

NSA Civil Liberties and Privacy Office Reports 

NSA CLPO has, in the interest of transparency, prepared and published three reports describing how NSA implements key authorities, and assessing the corresponding civil liberties and privacy implications.

  • NSA CLPO Report on NSA’s implementation of Section 702.
  • NSA CLPO Transparency Report on NSA’s implementation of the new business records provisions of the USA FREEDOM Act.
  • NSA CLPO Report on civil liberties and privacy protections for targeted signals intelligence (SIGINT) activities under Executive Order 12333.

Reports on Protecting U.S. Person Identities in FISA Disseminations

ODNI posted reports on ICOTR that review how intelligence agencies protect the identities of U.S. persons when disseminating information collected under FISA. These reports were prepared, at the direction of the DNI, by the civil liberties and privacy officers for the ODNI, NSA, FBI, and CIA.

IC Policy Guidance for Protecting U.S. Person Identities in Disseminations

In January 2018, the Director of National Intelligence issued Intelligence Community Policy Guidance 107.1 establishing for the first time community-wide guidance for responding to requests for the identities of U.S. persons in disseminated intelligence reports, commonly referred to as “unmasking.”

ICPG 107.1 directs each IC element to develop and maintain procedure to respond to requests for unmasking. After the elements developed their respective procedures, they began implementing their procedures in January 2019. The IC Elements’ individual procedures for ICPG 107.1 were published on April 29, 2020. NEW ITEM

ICPG 107.1 also requires the DNI to publicly report the total number of unmasking requests for the IC in the annual Statistical Transparency Report Regarding Use of National Security Authorities. This reporting began in the ASTR for Calendar Year 2019. NEW ITEM

Reports posted on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board’s website

The PCLOB has published major reports as well as related updates on the executive branch’s use of national security authorities:

  • PCLOB Report on the Government’s Use of the Call Detail Records Program Under the USA Freedom Act (February 2020) 
  • PCLOB Report to the President on the Implementation of Presidential Policy Directive 28: Signals Intelligence Activities. (View the IC’s response to this report.)
  • PCLOB update on the government’s implementation of the PCLOB Recommendations on Section 215 and Section 702 (February 5, 2016 Update).
  • PCLOB update on the government’s implementation of the PCLOB Recommendations on Section 215 and Section 702 (January 29, 2015 Update).
  • PCLOB Report on the Surveillance Program Operated Pursuant to Section 702 of FISA (July 2, 2014).
  • PCLOB Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (January 23, 2014).

Department of Justice Annual Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Report to Congress

The most recent report, for calendar year 2021, was released in April 2022. Past FISA reports are also available and can be viewed by calendar year.


Annual Report of the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on Activities of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts

Under 50 U.S.C. § 1873(a)(2), enacted as part of the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 (Pub. L. No. 114-23), the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts is required to publish statistical information on certain activities of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (collectively referred to as the FISA courts) as detailed in 50 U.S.C. § 1873(a)(1). This includes the number of applications or certifications submitted to the FISC and whether those requests were granted, modified, or denied. It also includes information on amicus curiae appointments by the FISA court.

Section 702: Overviews

The government has provided general overviews of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA):

Summary of FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017

On January 19, 2018, Congress reauthorized Section 702 for six years, through the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017 (the Reauthorization Act). This summary describes the changes made by the Reauthorization Act, including additional privacy safeguards.

Section 702 Overview

In late December 2017, the IC prepared an infographic summarizing key elements of Section 702.

FISA Amendments Act: Q&A

The IC prepared a detailed Q&A document describing Section 702 and other FISA provisions. This document includes a discussion of the intelligence value of Section 702, with examples. The Q&A document was prepared before the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017 (the Reauthorization Act). For changes made by the Reauthorization Act, see the summary document described above.

Joint Unclassified Statement on Section 702

IC FISA experts testified about Section 702 before the House Judiciary Committee in March, 2017. The statement for the record provides a detailed overview of Section 702, and is posted here.

NSA’s Q&A on Section 702

NSA prepared a guide to Section 702 in question-and-answer format: Understanding the Impact of Section 702 on the Typical American.

Guide to Section 702 Value Examples

ODNI prepared a guide to officially released information on the value of information collected under Section 702.

Section 702: Targeting, Minimization, and Querying

The government has released court-approved targeting, minimization, and querying procedures under Section 702.

Targeting Procedures 

Section 702 allows for the targeting of (i) non‐United States persons (ii) reasonably believed to be located abroad (iii) to acquire foreign intelligence information. Targeting is effectuated by tasking communications facilities (such as telephone numbers and electronic communications accounts) to U.S. electronic communications service providers. Pursuant to the IC’s Principles of Transparency, the government released redacted versions of targeting procedures.

Minimization Procedures 

Section 702 also requires minimization procedures to minimize and protect any non‐publicly available information concerning unconsenting United States persons that may be incidentally collected when appropriately targeting non‐United States persons abroad for foreign intelligence information. The government has released several sets of minimization procedures for the past few years. The most recently released minimization procedures are set forth below. 

Querying Procedures 

With passage of the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017, Congress amended Section 702 to require that querying procedures be adopted by the Attorney General, in consultation with the DNI. Section 702(f )(1) requires that the querying procedures be consistent with the Fourth Amendment and that they include a technical procedure whereby a record is kept of each U.S. person term used for a query.

Similar to the Section 702 targeting and minimization procedures, the querying procedures are required to be reviewed by the FISC as part of the certification package for consistency with the statute and the Fourth Amendment. The querying procedures were first considered as part of the 2018 certifications; the most recent querying procedures, for the 2019 certifications, as set forth below. 

Section 702: Compliance, Oversight, and Other Documents

The government has released other relevant documents, including those relating to the extensive compliance and oversight measures undertaken under Section 702.

Summary of Oversight Activities Conducted by DOJ and ODNI

The National Security Division of the Department of Justice and the ODNI jointly conduct oversight of how the IC implements Section 702. These activities were officially described in a filing with the FISC.

2015 Summary of Notable Section 702 Requirements

This summary serves as a reference guide to certain notable requirements relating to the IC’s implementation of Section 702. (View PDF version of the 2015 Summary of Notable Section 702 Requirements).

Semiannual Assessments of Compliance with Procedures and Guidelines Issued Pursuant to Section 702 of FISA

Semiannual Compliance Assessments under Section 702 of FISA are jointly submitted by the Attorney General and the DNI and, thus, are commonly referred to as the Joint Assessments. These joint assessments are released proactively pursuant to the IC's Principles of Transparency. The 24th Joint Assessment was proactively released in December 2022.

NSA Guidance and Training Documents

NSA has released certain documents that provide guidance and/or training for NSA personnel in implementing Section 702.

DOJ Memorandum on Restriction Regarding the Use of FISA Section 702 Information in Criminal Proceedings Against United States Persons

This memorandum from the National Security Division of the Department of Justice is posted here.

Commerce/DOJ/ODNI White Paper Discussing FISA Section 702 after the July 2020 European Court of Justice’s decision in Schrems II

On July 16, 2020, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a decision in Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook Ireland and Maximillian Schrems, Case C-311/18 (“Schrems II”) about the ability of companies to transfer personal data from the European Union to the United States in a manner consistent with EU law. Accordingly, in an effort to assist organizations in assessing whether their transfers offer appropriate data protection in accordance with the ECJ’s ruling, the U.S. Government released a White Paper in September 2020, which outlines the robust limits and safeguards in the United States pertaining to government access to data, including those under FISA Section 702.

White Paper: Information on U.S. Privacy Safeguards Relevant to SCCs and Other EU Legal Bases for EU-U.S. Data Transfers after Schrems II, September 2020

Corresponding cover letter NEW ITEM

FISA: Other Provisions

The IC also releases documents pertaining to FISA provisions other than Section 702. For example, the IC has posted three tranches of documents released in FOIA litigation, pertaining to Title IV (pen register/trap and trace) and Title V (business records) of FISA. Those documents can be found here.

The Annual Statistical Transparency Report (referenced previously in this Guide) includes information and statistics about all FISA authorities.

For example, the IC's annual statistical transparency report includes information and statistics about the use of FISA probable cause authorities (Titles I and III; Sections 703 and 704), FISA Title IV (use of pen register and trap and trace devices), FISA Title V (business records); and national security letters.

Note that pages 25-31 of the report on business records, provides information on certain provisions in the USA FREEDOM Act that expired in March 2020.

FISA: FISC and FISCR Opinions

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review carry out their judicial duties under FISA in a classified setting, so that they can receive and act on classified information relating to the government’s implementation of FISA authorities. Recently, a substantial number of filings, rulings, and other documents related to the FISC and FISCR have been made public, in redacted form.

FISC Releases

FISC rulings, filings and other documents can also be found on the FISC’s website.

Notable releases on IC on the Record and/or the FISC website

In April 2021, ODNI and DOJ released a November 2020, opinion by the FISC that approved the 2020 Section 702 certifications.NEW ITEM

In September 2020, the ODNI and DOJ released a June 2020 FISC Opinion and Order "Regarding Temporary Retention, Use, and Disclosure of Unlawful FISA Collection," associated with Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications targeting Carter Page.

In December 2019, the FISC published an Opinion and Order (dated 3/4/20) and an Order of Publication (dated 12/20/19) In Re Accuracy Concerns Regarding FBI Matters Submitted to the FISC, Docket Number Misc. 19-02.

Also in December 2019, the FISC published a redacted Order In Re All Matters Submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

In October 2019, we published on IC on the Record the opinions of the FISC and the FISCR regarding, among other issues, the requirements for the FBI to track and document the justifications for queries of Section 702 data using U.S. person identifiers.

In October 2019, we published the opinions of the FISC and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review regarding, among other issues, the requirements for the FBI to track and document the justifications for queries of Section 702 data using United States person identifiers.

Earlier releases have included:

Since then, multiple filings pertaining to this docket number have been posted on the FISC's website and on the DOJ’s website, including:


Executive Order 12333

The IC has also released important documents related to Executive Order 12333, which establishes the Executive Branch framework for the country’s national intelligence efforts, and includes safeguards for protecting privacy and civil liberties in the conduct of intelligence activities. It was originally issued by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, was most recently revised and re-issued by President George W. Bush in 2008.

General Documents

Executive Order 12333, as amended, is included in the IC Legal Reference Book 2020. An information paper describing the 2008 revision is posted here.

Attorney-General Approved Procedures

Section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333 provides that IC elements may collect, retain, and disseminate information concerning United States persons pursuant to procedures established by the head of the IC element and approved by the Attorney General, in consultation with the DNI.

Raw Signals Intelligence Availability Procedures

Section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333 also provides that raw or unminimized signals intelligence (SIGINT) information may only be disseminated or made available to IC elements in accordance with procedures established by the DNI in coordination with the Secretary of Defense and approved by the Attorney General.The Raw SIGINT Availability Procedures were finalized and released in January of 2017, and are posted here, with corresponding Fact Sheet. The procedures require strict safeguards comparable to those of NSA for handling such information.


Presidential Policy Directive 28, Signals Intelligence Activities (PPD-28)

PPD-28 was issued in January 2014 and remains in effect. It sets forth general privacy protection principles for SIGINT activities, limits the use of SIGINT collected in bulk, provides for the involvement of senior policy makers in key SIGINT decisions, and imposes specific safeguards to protect the privacy of all individuals, regardless of nationality.

IC Element Policies Implementing PPD-28

Section 4 of PPD-28 calls on each IC element to update existing or issue new policies and procedures to implement principles for safeguarding all personal information collected through SIGINT, consistent with technical capabilities and operational needs. A table with links to each IC element’s policies under PPD-28 is posted here. In addition, links to two IC Standards relating to PPD-28 are posted here.

Signals Intelligence Reform Progress Report

The ODNI published three annual reports outlining progress under PPD-28 and related SIGINT reform efforts. The report for calendar year 2016 is posted here.


Gates Procedures

The Gates Procedures provide that, unless a specific exception applies, prior approval must be obtained from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence if information identifying Members or their staff by name or by individually identifying titles or characteristics (congressional identity information) is included in intelligence reports being disseminated to Executive Branch entities outside of the requesting IC element. A statement providing the background for these procedures is posted here. The procedures are contained in an annex to IC Directive 112, Congressional Notification, and are posted here.