WASHINGTON: The US intelligence community plans to declassify information about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, in a “deliberate” effort to provide the public with additional information after whistleblower Edward Snowden first revealed NSA spy tactics.
A senior official told CNN the information included not only “white papers” on surveillance programs but also previously undisclosed information about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The official said the information could be revealed as early as this week.
The official said that the plans are part of a “concerted” and “deliberate” effort to provide additional information about the classified programs at a time when congressional lawmakers are striving to bring an end to the agency’s surveillance efforts.
The “white papers” would help explain the scope of the program to Congress and the American public, which the NSA hopes would convince people to support continuing their data collection efforts, the official said.
The moves come amid growing bipartisan congressional pressure to pass legislation that would change or possibly end some of the NSA’s surveillance programs.
The official told CNN that Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper has been trying to declassify at least some detailed case opinions by the surveillance court.
“I think there is a high likelihood of FISC opinions being declassified soon,” the official said.
A DNI spokesman told CNN the agency was “leaning forward and telling others to be more transparent as much as possible.”