Release of the 19th Joint Assessment of Section 702 Compliance

Release of the 19th Joint Assessment of Section 702 Compliance


October 8, 2020

Today, the DNI, in consultation with the Department of Justice, is releasing in redacted form the 19th Semiannual Assessment of Compliance with Procedures and Guidelines Issued Pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Submitted by the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence (“Joint Assessment”). The DNI is releasing this semiannual assessment proactively, in keeping with the Principles of Intelligence Transparency for the Intelligence Community.

The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 requires the Attorney General and the DNI to assess compliance with Section 702 procedures over each six month period and to submit such assessments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (“FISC”) and relevant congressional committees. A joint team of experts (the Joint Oversight Team) from DOJ and ODNI conduct these assessments.

The Joint Assessments describe the extensive measures the Government undertakes to ensure compliance with FISC-approved targeting and minimization procedures; to accurately identify, record and correct errors; to take responsive actions to remove any erroneously obtained data; and to minimize the chances that mistakes will recur. The Joint Assessments have found that the agencies continue to implement the procedures in a manner that reflects a focused and concerted effort by IC personnel to comply with the requirements of Section 702.

One new item contained in this 19th Joint Assessment is an additional metric to assess compliance.  As explained in previous assessments, the Joint Oversight Team periodically evaluates how and what data it collects to provide for more meaningful statistics. The Joint Assessment has traditionally tracked the overall compliance incident rate; however, this statistic remains imperfect, as the assessment explains. Thus, the Joint Oversight Team determined that providing a new, additional comparison rate – NSA’s targeting compliance incident rate – would enhance overseers’ and the public’s understanding of Section 702 compliance. For consistency in evaluating long-term trends, this Joint Assessment also continues to provide the overall compliance incident rate.  Additional details about the new measurement are provided in the Joint Assessment.

ODNI has previously released a number of prior joint assessments, which may be found on IC on the Record and

Below is today’s release, in redacted form:

19th Joint Assessment (dated December 2019): reporting period June 1, 2017-November 30, 2017