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Updating Intelligence Oversight: Conversations with the DODM 5240.01 Drafters

By Joint Knowledge Online | May 23, 2023

In support of the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Privacy, Civil Liberties, and Transparency (ATSD PCLT), JKO hosts nine podcast recordings of conversations with the drafters of the updated DOD 5240.1-R, “Procedures Governing the Activities of DOD Intelligence Components that Affect United States Persons.” The DODM 5240.01 (2016) is used by all intelligence professionals, their supporting attorneys, intelligence oversight professionals, inspectors general, and the Department of Justice National Security and Privacy and Civil Liberties attorneys to effectively execute authorized intelligence activities, while simultaneously protecting the privacy rights and civil liberties of U.S. persons.


The current version resulted from years of collaborative work to significantly update the manual to address the changes regarding access, use and privacy protection in the new world of everyday use of Internet, cell phones and social media. With no reference materials to rely on, the working group addressed the rapidly increasing requirements for intelligence oversight.


The manual, first published in 1982, implemented Executive Order 12333 issued by President Ronald Reagan. Real world events over the ensuing years and changes in communications and recording technologies significantly impacted intelligence procedures and necessitated a comprehensive update. By 2015, the DOD senior intelligence oversight official (SIOO), with encouragement from the legal community, determined the need for a formal working group and together they rewrote DODM 5240.01.


Recorded conversations of working group members were turned into podcasts to preserve the experiences and perceptions of the drafters of the manual. DOD intelligence oversight officials, intelligence policy personnel, operatives, legal counsel, and others, can access these recordings on JKO as they work through the interpretation and application of DODM 5240.01-R.




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