[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 151 (Monday, August 8, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-19223]


[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: August 8, 1994]


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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

 

CIA Information Act of 1984; Operational File Exemptions

AGENCY: Central Intelligence Agency.

ACTION: Notice of operational file exemptions.

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SUMMARY: The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is soliciting comments 
regarding the historical value of, or other public interest in, the CIA 
files designated under the CIA Information Act of 1984.

DATES: Comments must be received by September 7, 1994.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments in writing to Director, Information 
Management, Central Intelligence Agency, Washington, DC 20505. Comments 
also may be faxed to (703) 482-8361.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Edmund Cohen, Director, Information Management, Central Intelligence 
Agency, Washington, DC 20505, (703) 482-6567.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    In 1984 the CIA Information Act (Act) became law. This Act 
authorized certain CIA operational files from the Directorates of 
Operations and Science and Technology and the Office of Security to be 
designated by the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) as exempt from 
the search requirements of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The 
Act also required that not less than once every ten years the DCI 
review the exemptions then in force to determine whether such 
exemptions could be removed from any category of exempted files or any 
portion thereof. The first such review must be completed by 15 October 
1994.

Increased Responsiveness to FOIA, Privacy Act, and Mandatory 
Declassification Requests

    A major purpose of the Act is to expedite the Agency's review of 
information qualifying for release pursuant to FOIA, Privacy Act, and 
Mandatory Declassification standards. Under the Act the Agency is 
relieved of having to search files, and review records contained 
therein, that would likely result in little, if any, released 
information under the FOIA. Consequently, the Agency can devote its 
resources to those files more likely to result in released materials 
and, thus, FOIA requesters experience much faster processing of those 
Agency records with a higher likelihood of being released. Since the 
passage of the Act in 1984, there has been a considerable reduction in 
the amount of time FOIA requesters must wait for their responses from 
the Agency. In 1984, when the CIA Information Act was passed, CIA 
completed action on 2,991 FOIA, Privacy Act, and Mandatory 
Declassification requests and the median response time for FOIA 
requests was approximately 15 months. In 1993, CIA completed action on 
5,705 requests and reduced the median response time for these requests 
to 2.4 months. Thus, a primary goal of the Act has been and continues 
to be met.

Declassification and Release of CIA Information of Historical Value

    The Act also sought to encourage CIA to undertake a program for the 
systematic review for declassification and release of selected 
information of historical value. The Act required the DCI, in 
consultation with the Archivist of the United States, the Librarian of 
Congress, and appropriate representatives of the historical discipline 
selected by the Archivist, to prepare and submit to Congress a report 
on the feasibility of conducting systematic review for declassification 
and release of CIA information of historical value. In his report, 
submitted on 29 May 1985, the DCI stated that this kind of review was 
feasible and he described the new Historical Review Program that the 
Agency had established to carry it out.
    Before making his report to Congress, the DCI consulted a panel, 
made up of the Archivist of the United States, an Assistant Librarian 
of Congress, and three distinguished historians. This panel recommended 
that the aim of the new Historical Review Program:

must be release of inactive records, appraised as permanently 
valuable, to the public via the National Archives and Records 
Administration (NARA), as the most effective means of serving the 
public interest and especially that of historical research.

    As part of the DCI's Openness Policy, CIA's Historical Review 
Program has expanded substantially since 1992. Under the Program, the 
Center for the Study of Intelligence has undertaken to declassify and 
release CIA records of significant historical value. Records 
declassified and transferred to the NARA include:
     Over 140,000 pages from the JFK sequestered collection of 
documents.
     Over 380 political and economic National Intelligence 
Estimates primarily on the Soviet Union produced prior to 1984.
     Over 1,000 previously classified articles and book reviews 
from the CIA's professional journal of intelligence.

Studies in Intelligence

     Over 1,500 pages of records on Raoul Wallenberg.
    Since 1992, the CIA History Staff has also published three volumes 
of documents in its Cold War Records:
     CIA Documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis. This 
publication is made up of 112 of the most important documents (some of 
which are excerpts of documents) from that period.
     Selected Estimates on the Soviet Union. This volume 
includes 27 National Intelligence Estimates on International Politics, 
Foreign Affairs, Global Issues and Nuclear Arms Control and 
Disarmament.
     The CIA Under Harry Truman. This publication includes 
approximately 80 important policy level documents, more than half of 
which have never been made public before.
    The Program has also declassified, released, and transferred to the 
NARA the following three formerly classified internal CIA histories:
     The Central Intelligence agency, An Instrument of 
Government, to 1950.
     General Walter Bedell Smith as Director of Central 
Intelligence, October 1950-February 1953.
     Allen Welsh Dulles as Director of Central Intelligence, 26 
February 1953-29 November 1961.
    Finally, related to these declassification and release programs and 
in conjunction with the Agency's Openness Policy, the Center for the 
Study of Intelligence:
     Conducted a symposium on Teaching Intelligence which also 
resulted in an unclassified published report.
     Conducted a symposium on the Cuban missile crisis.
     Conducted a conference entitled ``The Origins and 
Development of the CIA in the Administration of Harry Truman.''
     Produced two video tapes in conjunction with its symposium 
on the Cuban missile crisis and on its conference on the CIA and the 
Truman Administration.

Basis for the 1984 Designation of CIA Files as Operational

    The 1984 Act specified the following three categories for 
designating CIA files as operational and thus exempted from FOIA search 
requirements:
    1. Files of the Directorate of Operations which document the 
conduct of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence operations or 
intelligence or security liaison arrangements or information exchanges 
with foreign governments or their intelligence or security services;
    2. Files of the Directorate of Science and Technology which 
document the means by which foreign intelligence or counterintelligence 
is collected through scientific and technical systems; and
    3. Files of the Office of Security which document investigations 
conducted to determine the suitability of potential foreign 
intelligence or counterintelligence sources.
    Throughout the legislative history there is a clear recognition 
that there is little benefit from the requirement to search and review 
certain operational files that almost invariably prove to be exempt 
from release under the FOIA. By exempting only operational files, which 
document the methods by which intelligence is collected or which 
describe and identify sources that furnish the intelligence, FOIA 
requesters are assured of more responsive access to foreign 
intelligence information provided to U.S. policy makers. Through a 
reduction in the backlog of FOIA cases, the Agency's response to FOIA 
requests for nonoperational information becomes more timely. In 
speaking in support of the bill which eventually became the law, the 
then Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said:

    The purpose of this legislation is to amend the National 
Security Act of 1947 in order to relieve the CIA of the unproductive 
burden of searching and reviewing certain operational files under 
the FOIA. This relief will enable the CIA to become more efficient 
so that requests under the provisions of the FOIA may be answered 
more quickly.

    In supporting the bill when it was before the House, one member 
stated for the record that:

    The bill is carefully crafted to achieve three purposes.
    First, the bill will relieve the CIA from an unproductive FOIA 
requirement to search and review certain specifically defined CIA 
operational files consisting of records which, after line-by-line 
security review, almost invariably prove not to be releasable under 
the FOIA.
    Second, the bill will provide more effective security for the 
identities and operational activities abroad of individuals who risk 
their lives and livelihoods to assist the United States by 
cooperating with the CIA.
    Third, the bill will improve the ability of the CIA to respond 
to FOIA requests from the public in a timely and efficient manner, 
while preserving undiminished the amount of information releasable 
to the public under the FOIA.

    Moreover, intelligence sources, current and future, have increased 
confidence about the Agency's ability to protect them from the threat 
of exposure many have felt under the FOIA.
    Pursuant to the criteria specified in the Act, the DCI in 1984 
designated as operational files:
    1. Files of the Directorate of Operations:
    a. Operational Activity files. These files document the sources and 
methods involved in foreign intelligence and counterintelligence 
operations, liaison relationships with foreign governments and their 
intelligence and security services, and special activities.
    b. Operational Interest files. These files contain vulnerability 
information collected on targets for potential operational activities 
including foreign intelligence and security services, foreign hostile 
parties, international narcotics, international terrorism, and 
clandestine technology transfer.
    c. Personality files. These files contain information on persons 
and sources involved in operational activities and persons of 
operational and counterintelligence interest, including active and 
perspective agents, contacts, sources, and targets.
    d. Policy and Management files. These files contain information 
concerning the management of individual projects and decisions made for 
the conduct of operational activities.
    e. Obsolete Category files that remain open, but were created 
before the establishment of the Directorate of Operations central file 
system and contain the types of information in the four categories of 
files listed above.
    f. Operational files that are maintained and used within the 
Directorate of Operations, but that remain outside of and peripheral to 
the central file system. These are files that contain operational 
information of the type listed in the first four categories, but is so 
sensitive that it is compartmented within the Directorate of Operations 
division or staff directly responsible for the operation. Also included 
in this category are background and working files derived from 
materials from the other designated file categories.
    2. Files of the Directorate of Science and Technology:
    a. Imagery Analysis and Exploitation files. These are files that 
document the scientific and technical methods used in the collection, 
analysis, and exploitation of photographic intelligence and other 
imagery for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence.
    b. Signal Intelligence files. These are files which document 
scientific and technical methods used in the collection, analysis, and 
exploitation of electromagnetic signals for foreign intelligence and 
counterintelligence.
    c. Operations and Technical Support files. These are files which 
document scientific and technical methods used in support of human 
intelligence source operations in the collection of foreign 
intelligence and counterintelligence.
    d. Intelligence Collection Systems files. These files document the 
use of other scientific and technical methods in conjunction with 
clandestine operations in collecting foreign intelligence and 
counterintelligence.
    3. Files of the Office of Security:
    a. Covert Security Approval and Provisional Covert Security 
Approval files. These files document investigations to determine the 
suitability of potential foreign intelligence or counterintelligence 
sources proposed for use in operational support activities.
    b. Operational Approval and Provisional Operational Approval files. 
These files document investigations to determine the suitability of 
potential foreign intelligence or counterintelligence sources proposed 
for use in operational activities.
    c. Security Access Approval files. These files document 
investigations to determine the suitability of potential foreign 
intelligence or counterintelligence sources proposed for use in 
collection activities involving scientific and technical systems.

Solicitation of Comments Regarding Historical Value or Other Public 
Interest of the Previously Designated Operational Files

    In undertaking a decennial review of whether the DCI should remove 
any of the files designated under the 1984 Act, or portions thereof, 
from any of the specified categories of exempted files, the DCI hereby 
solicits comments for his consideration regarding the historical value 
of, or other public interest in, the subject matter of these particular 
categories of files or portions thereof and the relationship of that 
historical value or other public interest to the removal of previously 
designated files or any portions thereof from such a classification.

    Dated: August 2, 1994.
Frank J. Ruocco,
Deputy Director for Administration.
[FR Doc. 94-19223 Filed 8-5-94; 8:45 am]
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