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Office of Civil Liberties, Privacy and Transparency

Who We Are

The IC must exemplify America's values: operating under the rule of law, consistent with Americans' expectations for protection of privacy and civil liberties, respectful of human rights, and in a manner that retains the trust of the American people." – National Intelligence Strategy of the United States, August 2009

The Office of Civil Liberties, Privacy and Transparency (CLPT) works to ensure that the Intelligence Community carries out its national security mission in a manner that protects privacy and civil liberties, and, at the same time, provides appropriate transparency to the public.

CLPT is led by Alexander W. Joel, Chief, Civil Liberties, Privacy, and Transparency. In this capacity, he serves as the Civil Liberties Protection Officer, a position established by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. Reporting directly to the Director of National Intelligence, the Civil Liberties Protection Officer ensures that privacy and civil liberties protections are appropriately addressed in the policies and procedures of intelligence agencies; oversees compliance by the ODNI with privacy and civil liberties in programs and operations administered by the ODNI; and ensures that the use of technology sustains, and does not erode, privacy.

In addition, the DNI designated Joel to serve as the Chief Transparency Officer in 2015. In that capacity, he chairs the Intelligence Transparency Council, and leads and coordinates the IC’s efforts to enhance transparency. Part of this role is to promote and support the IC-wide adoption of the Principles of Intelligence Transparency for the Intelligence Community. They are intended to facilitate IC decisions that enhance public understanding of intelligence activities, while continuing to protect information when disclosure would harm national security. The Transparency Implementation Plan outlines the approach to transparency.

What’s New

Last summer, the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board convened a workshop to bring together segments of the intelligence community, academia and the private sector. The purpose of the workshop was to advance dialogue in several main areas, including the privacy implications of emerging technologies; various public and personal attitudes toward privacy; and ethical approaches to data collection.
The National Academies of Science published the results of the two-day workshop in the booklet “Privacy Research and Best Practices: Summary of a Workshop for the Intelligence Community.”

Last year, continuing the trend of increased transparency in the intelligence community, the DNI announced the establishment of the Principles of Intelligence Transparency for the Intelligence Community. These principles, along with the Intelligence Transparency Implementation Plan,  address and acknowledge that the public’s continued trust and support can only be achieved by the IC’s continued commitment to transparency.


























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