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United States

Enterprise Objective (US0111)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: United States Action Plan 2019-2021

Action Plan Cycle: 2019

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: NA

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Security & Public Safety

IRM Review

IRM Report: United States Design Report 2019-2021

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Implement Intelligence Community “Enterprise Objective” on Privacy, Civil Liberties, and Transparency The U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) must be accountable to the American people in carrying out its national security mission in a way that upholds the country’s values. The core principles of protecting privacy and civil liberties in our work and of providing appropriate transparency about our work must be integrated into the IC’s programs and activities. Building on the IC’s open government commitments made in NAP3, and reflecting the further institutionalization of the Principles of Intelligence Transparency, the 2019 National Intelligence Strategy of the United States of America (NIS) establishes an Enterprise Objective on privacy, civil liberties, and transparency. Enterprise objectives provide the foundation for integrated, effective, and efficient management of mission capabilities and business functions. To meet this enterprise objective, we will incorporate privacy and civil liberties requirements into IC policy and programs to ensure that national values inform the intelligence mission. We will engage proactively with oversight institutions and our partners to enhance public understanding and trust in the IC. We will practice and promote appropriate transparency in the IC to make information publicly available without jeopardizing national security. Doing so is necessary to earn and retain public trust in the IC, which directly impacts IC authorities, capabilities, and resources. Mission success depends on the IC’s commitment to these core principles.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

7. Implement Intelligence Community “Enterprise Objective” on Privacy, Civil Liberties, and Transparency

Main Objective

“Implement Intelligence Community “Enterprise Objective” on Privacy, Civil Liberties, and Transparency”

Milestones

None provided.

Editorial Note: For the complete text of this commitment, please see the United States’ action plan at: https://open.usa.gov/assets/files/NAP4-fourth-open-government-national-action-plan.pdf.

IRM Design Report Assessment

Verifiable:

Yes

Relevant:

Yes

Access to information

Potential impact:

Minor

Commitment analysis

This commitment will implement the intelligence community’s (IC) “Enterprise Objective” (EO) on privacy, civil liberties, and transparency. The EO is enshrined in the 2019 National Security Strategy of the United States of America (NIS 2019), which “provides the [IC] with strategic direction from the Director of National Intelligence” over a four-year period. [84] NIS 2019 includes seven EO’s that “provide the foundation for integrated, effective, and efficient management of mission capabilities and business functions.” [85] The seventh EO concerns “privacy, civil liberties, and transparency” to “safeguard privacy and civil liberties and practice appropriate transparency to enhance accountability and public trust.” [86] This EO represents “the first time…there is a stand-alone enterprise objective in the NIS” focused on civil liberties and transparency. [87] Under this EO, the IC will:

  1. Incorporate privacy and civil liberties requirements into IC policy and programs to ensure that national values inform the intelligence mission.
  2. Engage proactively with oversight institutions and our partners to enhance public understanding and trust in the IC.
  3. Practice and promote appropriate transparency in the IC to make information publicly available without jeopardizing national security. [88]

These activities are copied verbatim in Commitment 7, which states that they will “earn and retain public trust in the IC.” [89] This is also verbatim from NIS 2019. [90]

Including this EO in NIS 2019 is closely related to The Principles of Intelligence Transparency for the Intelligence Community. The Principles were issued by the Director of National Intelligence in 2015 to “provide general norms for the IC to follow in making information publicly available that enhances public understanding of intelligence activities while continuing to protect information when disclosure would harm national security.” [91] The Principles formed the basis of an earlier commitment in NAP3 to “Increase Transparency of the Intelligence Community,” [92] which had a moderate potential impact and limited completion at both the midterm and end-of-term. [93]

The commitment is relevant to the OGP value of access to information by virtue of its intention to provide the public with access to information on the IC.

Civil society has long demanded greater transparency from the IC. The Brennan Center for Justice, a nonprofit that works for national security transparency, notes that while “national security might sometimes require that the operational details of military or intelligence efforts be kept secret….far too much information is classified and withheld from the public.” [94] The government is “increasingly relying on a vast body of secret law to authorize its national security activities,” thereby “undermin[ing] the basic functions of democratic self-government,” particularly post-9/11. [95] The Brennan Center cites Edward Snowden’s revelation that the U.S. National Security Administration maintained records of American’s phone calls under the Obama administration as a key catalyst for civil society demands for greater transparency and respect for civil liberties within the IC. [96] These concerns persisted among civil society during the publication of NAP4. In June 2018, 24 CSOs, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, called for the Director of National Intelligence to share data on the extent of phone surveillance of Americans. [97] Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy similarly situates demands for greater IC transparency in the context of the Snowden revelations. Aftergood notes the “CIA and other agencies are sitting on a wealth of unclassified, open source material…that could easily be shared with the public at marginal cost,” with the added potential benefit of “increasing public literacy in national security matters and enriching public debate.” [98] In response to a request for feedback on the commitment, Aftergood echoed these concerns and took issue with the scope of the commitment, stating that the IC Enterprise Objective:

needs to aim at a much more ambitious goal. The American public needs vastly increased access to unclassified intelligence analysis and information, and not simply for reasons of "trust" or accountability. Rather, it is because the public itself is now on the "front lines" of multiple threats to national security, including offensive cyber activity, foreign information operations and global disease [and has] a claim on the relevant insights that US intelligence has to offer….Yet intelligence support to the American public has been totally lacking. [99]

Recent surveys show a clear preference for greater IC transparency, with growing public support for more open information flows. Survey results from summer 2018 indicate what while 59% of Americans feel the IC “plays a vital role in protecting the country,” a bare majority of 51% feel that the IC “effectively safeguards their privacy and civil liberties while pursuing its mission,” and 65% of respondents (up from 54% in 2017) feel that the IC “could share more information with the public without compromising its effectiveness.” [100] Public sentiment is particularly stark among millennials (individuals born 1982−1996); only 47% believe the IC is vital in protecting the country, and 70% favor greater IC public information disclosure. [101] Importantly, Americans’ perceptions regarding the IC’s respect for privacy and civil liberties are roughly similar across the partisan divide for 2018, with 66% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans indicating that the IC is very or somewhat effective in this regard. [102] Thus, there is bipartisan demand for greater transparency and protection of privacy and civil liberties, as described in the commitment text.

While there is clear demand for greater IC transparency and public accountability, the IRM researcher assesses the commitment as having a minor potential impact owing to the relative lack of specificity surrounding what precise actions the IC will take under this commitment. Regarding the three commitment activities, the government does not specify what “privacy and civil liberties requirements” actually entail, nor does it specify which specific policies and programs will be covered. The commitment similarly neglects to specify which oversight institutions and partners will be covered by the commitment, and the frequency or scope of engagement. Finally, the commitment does not define “appropriate transparency” or specify which information would be potentially subject to greater public disclosure. Therefore, the commitment has a minor potential impact.

[84] Office of the Director of National Intelligence, National Security Strategy of the United States of America (2019), 1, https://www.dni.gov/files/ODNI/documents/National_Intelligence_Strategy_2019.pdf.
[85] Id. at 17.
[86] Id. at 24.
[87] Alex Joel (Chief of the Office of the Directorate of National Intelligence’s Office of Civil Liberties, Privacy, and Transparency), (2019), https://documents.pclob.gov/prod/Documents/EventsAndPress/698fe0ea-0a65-4da7-b67a-eef324fec62d/PCLOB%20statement%20-%20Joel.pdf
[88] Office of the Director of National Intelligence, National Security Strategy at 24.
[89] Government of the United States, The Open Government Partnership: Fourth Open Government National Action Plan for the United States of America (OGP, Feb. 2019), 5 https://open.usa.gov/assets/files/NAP4-fourth-open-government-national-action-plan.pdf.
[90] Office of the Director of National Intelligence, National Security Strategy at 24.
[91] Id. See also Alex Joel (Chief, Office of the Directorate of National Intelligence, Office of Civil Liberties, Privacy, and Transparency), “Statement delivered at the Public Forum of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board” (8−9 Feb.), 3, https://www.pclob.gov/library/PCLOB%20statement%20-%20Joel.pdf.
[92] IRM, “Increase Transparency of the Intelligence Community (US0071)” (OGP, accessed 8 Mar. 2020), https://www.opengovpartnership.org/members/united-states/commitments/US0071/.
[93] IRM staff, Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM): United States Progress Report: 2015−2016 (OGP, 2018), https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/United-States_Mid-Term_2015-2017.pdf; Dr. Jason McMann, Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM): United States End-of-Term Report 2015–2017, (OGP, May 2018), https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/United-States_End-of-Term_IRM-Report_2015-2017_0.pdf.
[94] Brennan Center for Justice, “Transparency and Oversight: Why it Matters” (accessed 8 Mar. 2020), https://www.brennancenter.org/issues/protect-liberty-security/transparency-oversight.
[95] Id.
[96] Id.
[97] David Ruiz, “EFF and 24 Civil Liberties Organizations Demand Transparency on NSA Domestic Phone Record Surveillance,” (Electronic Frontier Foundation, 1 Jun. 2018), https://www.eff.org/fr/deeplinks/2018/05/eff-and-x-civil-liberties-organizations-demand-transparency-nsa-domestic-phone. For additional context linking the IC’s movement toward greater transparency and the Snowden disclosures, see Steven Aftergood, “Secrecy News: Intelligence Transparency – But For What?” (Federation of American Scientists. 31 Jan. 2019), https://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2019/01/transparency-for-what/.
[98] Steven Aftergood, “Intelligence Transparency—But for What,” (Federation of American Scientists. 31 Jan. 2019), https://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/2019/01/transparency-for-what/.
[99] Steven Aftergood, Copies of email correspondence are available upon request.
[100] Stephen Slick, Joshua Busby, and Kingsley Burns, Public Attitudes on US Intelligence: Annual Poll Reflects Bipartisan Confidence Despite Presidential Antagonism (The Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Lester Crown Center on U.S. Foreign Policy and the Texas National Security Network, Jul. 2019), 1−2, https://www.thechicagocouncil.org/sites/default/files/public_attitudes_on_us_intelligence_0.pdf. The exact survey question is: “How effective do you think the intelligence community is in meeting the following responsibilities? Respecting the privacy and civil liberties of Americans.” See Figure 4 for 2018 responses and comparison to 2017. Id.
[101] Id.
[102] Id. at 4.

Commitments

  1. Federal Data Strategy

    US0105, 2019, E-Government

  2. Grants Accountability

    US0106, 2019, E-Government

  3. Public Access to Federally Funded Research

    US0107, 2019, Access to Information

  4. Workforce Data Standards

    US0108, 2019, E-Government

  5. Chief Data Officers

    US0109, 2019, Access to Information

  6. Open Data for Public Health

    US0110, 2019, Access to Information

  7. Enterprise Objective

    US0111, 2019, Capacity Building

  8. Developing Future Action Plans

    US0112, 2019, Public Participation

  9. Reconstitution of the USA.gov

    US0053, 2015, E-Government

  10. Accessibility of Government Information Online

    US0054, 2015, Marginalized Communities

  11. Access to Educational Resources

    US0055, 2015, Access to Information

  12. Public Listing of Every Address in the US

    US0056, 2015, Access to Information

  13. Informed Decisions About Higher Education.

    US0057, 2015, Access to Information

  14. New Authentication Tools to Protect Individual Privacy and Ensure That Personal Records Go Only to the Intended Recipients.

    US0058, 2015,

  15. Transparency of Open311

    US0059, 2015, E-Government

  16. Support Medicine Research Throught Opening up Relevant Data of the Field

    US0060, 2015, Access to Information

  17. Access to Workforce Data

    US0061, 2015, Access to Information

  18. Using Evidence and Concrete Data to Improve Public Service Delivery

    US0062, 2015, Capacity Building

  19. Expand Use of the Federal Infrastructure Permitting Dashboard

    US0063, 2015,

  20. Consolidation of Import and Export Systems

    US0064, 2015, E-Government

  21. Improving Government Records

    US0065, 2015, Access to Information

  22. Starred commitment Ammendments to FOIA

    US0066, 2015, Access to Information

  23. Streamline the Declassification Process

    US0067, 2015, Capacity Building

  24. Implement the Controlled Unclassified Information Program

    US0068, 2015, Access to Information

  25. Transparency of Privacy Programs and Practices

    US0069, 2015, Capacity Building

  26. Transparency of Federal Use of Investigative Technologies

    US0070, 2015, E-Government

  27. Increase Transparency of the Intelligence Community

    US0071, 2015, Access to Information

  28. Starred commitment Open Science Through Open Data

    US0072, 2015, Access to Information

  29. Open Data Portal

    US0073, 2015, E-Government

  30. Increase Transparency of Trade Policy and Negotiations

    US0074, 2015, E-Government

  31. Develop a Machine Readable Government Organizational Chart

    US0075, 2015, Access to Information

  32. Improving Public Participation

    US0076, 2015, Public Participation

  33. Expand Public Participation in the Development of Regulations

    US0077, 2015, Public Participation

  34. Civic Engagement in Decision-Making Processes

    US0078, 2015, Public Participation

  35. Open Mapping

    US0079, 2015, Access to Information

  36. Tracking OGP Implementation

    US0080, 2015, Public Participation

  37. Strengthening Whistleblower Protection

    US0081, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  38. Transparency of Legal Entities

    US0082, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  39. Extractive Industries Transparency

    US0083, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  40. Spending Transparency

    US0084, 2015, Access to Information

  41. Enhance the Use of U.S. Foreign Assistance Information

    US0085, 2015, Aid

  42. Participatory Budgets and Responsive Spending

    US0086, 2015, Fiscal Openness

  43. Expand Access to Justice to Promote Federal Programs

    US0087, 2015, Access to Justice

  44. Starred commitment Build Safer Communities with Police Open Data

    US0088, 2015, Access to Information

  45. Open Federal Data to Benefit Local Communities

    US0089, 2015, Access to Information

  46. Support the Municipal Data Network

    US0090, 2015, Access to Information

  47. Foster Data Ecosystems

    US0091, 2015, Capacity Building

  48. Extend Digital, Data-Driven Government to Federal Government’S Support for Communities

    US0092, 2015, Capacity Building

  49. Promote Implementation of SDGs

    US0093, 2015, Access to Information

  50. Starred commitment Promote Open Climate Data

    US0094, 2015, Access to Information

  51. Air Quality Data Available

    US0095, 2015, Access to Information

  52. Promote Food Security and Data Sharing for Agriculture and Nutrition

    US0096, 2015, Access to Information

  53. Promote Data Sharing About Global Preparedness for Epidemic Threats

    US0097, 2015, Capacity Building

  54. Promote Global Interconnectivity

    US0098, 2015, Aid

  55. Open Contracting

    US0099, 2015, Access to Information

  56. Harness the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development

    US0100, 2015, Access to Information

  57. Open Government to Support Global Sustainable Development

    US0101, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  58. Open Collaboration Onf the Arctic

    US0102, 2015, Environment and Climate

  59. Support Capacity Building for Extractives Transparency

    US0103, 2015, Anti-Corruption

  60. Support Responsible Investment and Business Practices for Companies

    US0104, 2015, Private Sector

  61. Improve Public Participation in Government

    US0027, 2013, Capacity Building

  62. Modernize Management of Government Records

    US0028, 2013, Records Management

  63. Modernize the Freedom of Information Act

    US0029, 2013, Access to Information

  64. Transform the Security Classification System

    US0030, 2013, Records Management

  65. Implement the Controlled Unclassified Information Program

    US0031, 2013, Security & Public Safety

  66. Increase Transparency of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Activities

    US0032, 2013, Data Stewardship and Privacy

  67. Make Privacy Compliance Information More Accessible

    US0033, 2013, E-Government

  68. Support and Improve Agency Implementation of Open Government Plans

    US0034, 2013,

  69. Strengthen and Expand Whistleblower Protections for Government Personnel

    US0035, 2013, Anti-Corruption

  70. Increase Transparency of Legal Entities Formed in the United States

    US0036, 2013, Fiscal Openness

  71. Starred commitment Implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

    US0037, 2013, Access to Information

  72. Make Fossil Fuel Subsidies More Transparent

    US0038, 2013, Anti-Corruption

  73. Starred commitment Increase Transparency in Spending

    US0039, 2013, Access to Information

  74. Increase Transparency of Foreign Assistance

    US0040, 2013, Aid

  75. Continue to Improve Performance.Gov

    US0041, 2013, E-Government

  76. Consolidate Import and Export Systems to Curb Corruption

    US0042, 2013, Private Sector

  77. Promote Public Participation in Community Spending Decisions

    US0043, 2013, Fiscal Openness

  78. Expand Visa Sanctions to Combat Corruption

    US0044, 2013, Anti-Corruption

  79. Further Expand Public Participation in the Development of Regulations

    US0045, 2013, Capacity Building

  80. Open Data to the Public

    US0046, 2013, Access to Information

  81. Continue to Pilot Expert Networking Platforms

    US0047, 2013, Public Participation

  82. Reform Government Websites

    US0048, 2013, E-Government

  83. Promote Innovation Through Collaboration and Harness the Ingenuity of the American Public

    US0049, 2013, Capacity Building

  84. Promote Open Education to Increase Awareness and Engagement

    US0050, 2013, E-Government

  85. Deliver Government Services More Effectively Through Information Technology

    US0051, 2013, E-Government

  86. Increase Transparency in Spending

    US0052, 2013, Access to Information

  87. Reform Records Management

    US0001, 2011, Public Participation

  88. Lead a Multi-Agency Effort

    US0002, 2011, Capacity Building

  89. Monitor Agency Implementation of Plans

    US0003, 2011, Public Participation

  90. Provide Enforcement and Compliance Data Online

    US0004, 2011, Access to Information

  91. Advocate for Legislation Requiring Meaningful Disclosure

    US0005, 2011, Legislation & Regulation

  92. Apply Lessons from Recovery Act to Increate Spending Transparency

    US0006, 2011, Fiscal Openness

  93. Government-Wide Reporting Requirements for Foreign Aid

    US0007, 2011, Access to Information

  94. Use Performanc.Gov to Improve Government Performance and Accountability

    US0008, 2011, Public Participation

  95. Overhaul the Public Participation Interface on Regulations.Gov

    US0009, 2011, Legislation & Regulation

  96. Launch Expertnet

    US0010, 2011, E-Government

  97. Launch International Space Apps Competition

    US0011, 2011, E-Government

  98. Launch “We the People”

    US0012, 2011, E-petitions

  99. Open Source “We the People”

    US0013, 2011, E-petitions

  100. Develop Best Practices and Metrics for Public Participation

    US0014, 2011, Capacity Building

  101. Professionalize the FOIA Administration

    US0015, 2011, Access to Information

  102. Harness the Power of Technology

    US0016, 2011, Access to Information

  103. Advocate for Legislation on Whistleblower Protection

    US0017, 2011, Anti-Corruption

  104. Explore Executive Authority to Protect Whistleblowers

    US0018, 2011, Anti-Corruption

  105. Implement the EITI

    US0019, 2011, Anti-Corruption

  106. Partnership to Build on Recent Progress

    US0020, 2011, Anti-Corruption

  107. Promote Data.Gov to Spur Innovation Through Open Sourcing

    US0021, 2011, Access to Information

  108. Data.Gov: Foster Communities on Data.Gov

    US0022, 2011, Access to Information

  109. Begin Online National Dialogue with the American Public

    US0023, 2011, Public Participation

  110. Update Government-Wide Policies for Websites

    US0024, 2011, Public Participation

  111. Promote Smart Disclosure to Ensure Timely Release of Information

    US0025, 2011, Access to Information

  112. Publish Guidelines on Scientific Data

    US0026, 2011, Access to Information

Open Government Partnership