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World Trade Center in New York, as seen by a NRO HEXAGON/KH-9 satellite (see Document 29)
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Overhead Imagery: The U.S. Target

 

New Documents Trace Controversial Use of Drones and other Aerial Surveillance for Domestic National Security from Safeguarding Major Sporting Events to Law Enforcement to Tracking Wildfires

 

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 527

Edited by Jeffrey T. Richelson

Posted - August 24, 2015

 

For more information, contact:
Jeffrey T. Richelson: 202.994.7000 or nsarchiv@gwu.edu.

Related links

NASA's Secret Relationships with U.S. Defense and Intelligence Agencies
April 10, 2015

U.S. Reconnaissance Satellites: Domestic Targets
April 11, 2008

U.S. Satellite Imagery, 1960-1999
April 14, 1999

FBI spy plane zeroes in on Dearborn area
The Detroit News
August 5, 2015


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A video animation from flightradar24.com tracking an FBI Cessna plane as it circles over Metro Detroit, August 1, 2015. (flightradar24.com)

Washington, D.C., August 24, 2015. - “FBI spy plane zeroes in on Dearborn area” was the headline in The Detroit News on August 5, 2015. The story, which broke the news that the FBI had conducted at least seven surveillance flights recently over downtown Detroit, also raised a broader issue. It illustrated the fact that along with the controversy concerning electronic surveillance activities focused on telephone and e-mail records of United States citizens there exists a corresponding source of controversy – the use of satellites and assorted aircraft (manned and unmanned) to collect imagery and conduct aerial surveillance of civilian targets within the United States.

Today, the National Security Archive posts over forty documents, many appearing online for the first time, related to the domestic use of overhead imagery and the controversy it has generated. Among those documents are:

  • Annual activity reports of the Civil Applications Committee, created in 1975 to provide a forum for interaction between the Intelligence Community and civil agencies wanting information from “national systems” (Document 2, Document 4, Document 6, Document 13, Document 16).
  • Articles from a classified National Reconnaissance Office magazine discussing the use of NRO imagery spacecraft to aid in disaster relief (Document 9, Document 10, Document 23).
  • Articles from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s Pathfinder magazine, which describe how the NGA uses overhead imagery to provide data to assorted agencies with responsibilities in security operations and planning for National Special Security Events (Document 12, Documents 20a, 20b, 20c, Document 26).
  • Examples of imagery, obtained by the KH-9 spy camera, of two targets in New York – the World Trade Center and Shea Stadium (Document 29).
  • Detailed NGA, NORTHCOM, and Air Combat Command internal regulations governing the collection, dissemination and use of domestic imagery (Document 17, Document 19, Document 34). 
  • A description and assessments of the Customs and Border Protection service’s use of drones (Document 24, Document 30, Document 35, Document 37).

* * * * *

Overhead Imagery: The U.S. Target

Jeffrey T. Richelson

During the Cold War and beyond, the United States developed a wide variety of overhead collection systems, including those whose purpose was to collect imagery. Those systems comprised spacecraft, manned aircraft (including the U-2, P-3, and SR-71), and unmanned vehicles (including the Predator and Global Hawk) and have carried a variety of sensors – standard photographic cameras, electro-optical, radar, and infrared (Document 22). Along with an improved ability to use different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum to image domestic targets there has also been an evolution in the ability to quickly access such data (Document 27) – an ability of particular importance in the midst of dealing with a national disaster.

While the driving force in the development of such systems was gathering intelligence on foreign targets – particularly those in the Soviet Bloc and China – the United States would come to make use of those systems, in a variety of ways, to support the domestic missions of both military and civil agencies. In addition, imaging of domestic targets gave the operators of such systems as well as those responsible for interpreting the resulting imagery a means of testing and calibrating the systems since it would be possible to compare the images obtained with ground truth – the precise measurements of the targets.[1] Thus, among the targets imaged by a KH-9 camera during the thirteenth mission of the HEXAGON program in 1977 were the World Trade Center in Manhattan and Shea Stadium in Queens (Document 29). Whether they were used merely to test the camera, for calibration purposes, or for some other reason is not clear.


NORAD / NORTHCOM study of use of aerial reconnaissance systems to monitor wildfires in California in 2007-2008 (see Document 18)

The apparent potential for using overhead imagery systems in support of civilian agency missions – including the mapping efforts of the U.S. Geological Survey, the preparations of the Office of Emergency Planning, and the management of the U.S. Government’s vast land holdings – led to the creation in the mid-1960s of the ARGO committee, which provided a forum for Intelligence Community / civilian agency contacts.[2] In 1975, in response to one of the findings of the Rockefeller Commission, the Civil Applications Committee was established. While a number of documents related to the creation and operation of the ARGO committee and the CAC have been declassified in recent years, documents providing yearly details on the committee’s operation and the use of national collection systems, including imagery systems, have not been available until recently.[3] The activity reports covering the years 1997 through 2008 (Document 2, Document 3, Document 4, Document 5, Document 6, Document 7, Document 11, Document 13, Document 14, Document 16), published today for the first time, provide those details. Those reports cover the activities of CAC working groups, the use of national (including imagery) systems in support of the departments and agencies represented on the committee, and briefings to the committee at monthly meetings, including a September 2003 briefing on NRO imagery support to homeland defense (Document 6).

In addition, to being able to support civil agencies in planned projects (e.g. mapping), overhead systems have also been employed in helping civilian and military agencies respond to natural disasters including earthquakes, oil spills, and hurricanes. Overhead imagery, given its vantage point, is particularly suited to determining the geographic extent of the damage. In addition, such imagery, particularly high-resolution imagery, can be employed to identify the precise damage to particular facilities and locales. Many of the activity reports (Document 14, Document 16, Document 21) also provide listings of incidents that led committee members to request imagery support.

Among the assets employed to monitor various disasters was the U-2, employed in 1969 to monitor an oil spill off Santa Barbara and in 1971 to gather imagery in the aftermath of the Los Angeles earthquake (Document 1). In 2007 and 2008, there was both U-2 and Global Hawk UAV coverage of California wildfires (Document 18). At higher altitudes, NRO imagery satellites have been employed in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 (Document 9, Document 10) and the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (Document 23).

A different sort of planning than mapping or land management has also been supported by overhead imagery systems – both classified and commercial. When he signed Presidential Decision Directive 62, “Protection Against Unconventional Threats to the Homeland and Americans Overseas,” in May 1998, President Bill Clinton, established a new type of event – the National Special Security Event (NSSE). These are not restricted to political events (e.g. a G8 conference, or a presidential inauguration) but also include high-profile sporting events (such as the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, or the Super Bowl). A NSSE is a particularly attractive target for terrorists, and associated planning and security measures receive special attention. The latter includes NGA acquisition and analysis of overhead imagery, which interpreters can use to identify transportation routes and locations from which threats might emanate (Document 12, Document 20a, Document 20b, Document 20c, Document 26).

The most controversial uses or potential uses of overhead systems have been for law enforcement and border security. Plans to incorporate a law enforcement support component into a proposed National Applications Office (NAO) within DHS that would have replaced the Civil Applications Committee was the key factor in the opposition that ultimately led to cancellation of plans to establish the office.[4]

Another current subject of controversy has been the FBI’s use of drones for surveillance purposes. In 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), in a letter (Document 32a) to Director Robert Mueller, posed a series of eleven questions concerning the bureau’s drone use, including: how long has the FBI been using drones without stated privacy protections; what measures do you intend to adopt to protect Fourth Amendment and privacy rights; in what circumstances would the FBI elect to use drone surveillance; and is there ever a scenario you can envision where the FBI would seek to arm its drones? That letter led to further correspondence involving Paul and the bureau’s assistant director for congressional affairs (responding on Mueller’s behalf). In addition to the bureau’s responses to Paul and other members of Congress (Document 33), another recently available explication of the FBI’s views concerning the use of unmanned vehicles for surveillance is a briefing (Document 28) obtained by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.


Shea Stadium, New York – image taken by the NRO’s HEXAGON/KH-9 satellite (see Document 29)

Controversy has also surrounded the use of drones, specifically the Predator, by the Customs and Border Protection service. In 2010, the Congressional Research Service reported (Document 24) on the use of drones for border security purposes. Its analysts identified several advantages of drones for border surveillance, including improving the range of coverage, but also noted potential problems such as accident rates and weather conditions. CBP drone activities have also been the subject of audit/investigation by the DHS Inspector General and the Government Accountability Office (GAO). A May 2012 DHS Inspector General report (Document 30) noted that the purpose of the CBP unmanned aerial vehicle program was to “provide reconnaissance, surveillance, targeting, and acquisition capabilities across all CBP areas of responsibility” but “CBP had not adequately planned resources to support its current unmanned aircraft inventory.” It also identified assorted agencies on whose behalf the CBP had flown missions – among them the United States Secret Service, the FBI, the Department of Defense, and the Texas Rangers – as well imagery obtained for border surveillance and other applications.

A December 2014 Inspector General report (Document 37) stated that although the CBP unmanned aircraft system contributed to border security “CBP cannot prove that the program is effective because it has not developed performance measures.” A few months earlier, a GAO study (Document 35) was sent to key members of the Congressional homeland security committees. It noted that the CBP operated nine unmanned vehicles from four National Air Security Operations Centers (and gave the locations of those centers), and identified the different sensors (including infrared, electro-optical, and synthetic aperture radar) flown on the vehicles. It also reported favorably with regard to CBP’s civil liberties and privacy oversight practices, noting that “CBP has an oversight framework and procedures that help ensure compliance with privacy and civil liberty laws and standards.”

The potential for civil liberties and privacy controversies over even mundane uses of overhead imagery, as well as existing legal restraints, required the creation of policy documents involving requests for domestic imagery coverage, collection of such imagery, and dissemination. In response, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (Document 17), the Northern Command (Document 19), and the Air Combat Command (Document 34) have all produced detailed regulations governing their involvement in domestic imagery acquisition and dissemination.

Thus, among the topics addressed in NGA’s March 2009 regulation, Domestic Imagery (Document 17), are authority, responsibility, domestic imagery requesters and users, domestic imagery use policy, special applications of domestic imagery, and domestic imagery approval procedures. The section on domestic imagery usage specifies that “domestic imagery used in publications or briefings may not be used for any purpose other than that for which it was originally requested” and that “the fact that domestic imagery exists in historical files or file servers does not constitute authorization to exploit or use it for any purpose.”

Notes

[1] A previous National Security Archive Briefing Book focused on the domestic targets of U.S. reconnaissance satellites as well as the Civil Applications Committee. See Jeffrey T. Richelson (ed.), U.S. Reconnaissance Satellites: Domestic Targets, April 11, 2008.

[2] James David, “The Intelligence Agencies Help Find Whales,” Quest 16, 4, (2009): 27-36.

[3] Several of those documents can be found in the National Security Archive electronic briefing book cited in note 1.

[4] Jeffrey T. Richelson, “The Office that Never Was: The Failed Creation of the National Applications Office,” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 24, 1 (Spring, 2011): 65-118.

Documents

Document 1: Gregory W. Pedlow and Donald E. Welzenbach, The Central Intelligence Agency and Overhead Reconnaissance: The U-2 and OXCART Programs, 1954-1974. Extract. (Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency, 1992). Secret.

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

This extract from a CIA history discusses the use of the CIA U-2 aircraft in support of a variety of domestic missions in response, inter alia, to a NASA request for imagery of the western United States, an oil spill off Santa Barbara, and an earthquake that struck the Los Angeles area.

Document 2: Civil Applications Committee, 1997 Annual Report: Civil Applications Committee, n.d. Unclassified/For U.S. Government Use Only.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey Freedom of Information Act Release.

This annual report of the Civil Applications Committee (CAC) describes the committee’s purpose, its responsibilities and functions, membership, historical highlights, revision of its charter, working group activities, and the use of national systems in support of requirements of civil departments – including Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Some of the national systems include NRO imagery spacecraft.

Document 3: Civil Applications Committee, 1998-99 Activity Report: Civil Applications Committee, n.d., Unclassified/For U.S. Government Use Only.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey Freedom of Information Act Release.

This version the CAC annual report focuses on reports from the committee’s working groups, including that of the Imagery Derived Products Working Group. As with the 1997 report (Document 2), the majority of the report focuses on the use of national systems, including imaging systems, in support of civil executive branch departments and agencies. It also includes figures showing images received and square miles searched in pursuit of mapping, charting, and geodesy data.

Document 4: Civil Applications Committee, Civil Applications Committee 2000-2001 Activity Report , n.d., Unclassified/For Official Use Only.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey Freedom of Information Act Release.

As with the 1998-99 CAC activity report (Document 3) and those of subsequent years (Documents 5, 6, 7), the two key parts of this report are descriptions of the activities of the CAC working groups (including the imagery derived products group) and use of national systems in support of departments, agencies, and bureaus. Included in this version are accounts of the use of national systems imagery in support of the Bureau of Land Management programs as well as those of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Document 5: Civil Applications Committee, Civil Applications Committee 2002 Activity Report , n.d., Unclassified/For Official Use Only.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey Freedom of Information Act Release.

This version of the CAC annual activity report includes sections on CAC highlights – including several concerning use of overhead imagery – working group activities, and the use of national systems in support of civil departments and agencies.

Document 6: Civil Applications Committee, Civil Applications Committee 2003 Activity Report , n.d., Unclassified/For U.S. Government Use Only.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey Freedom of Information Act Release.

Like its predecessor, this version of the CAC annual activity report includes sections on CAC highlights – including several concerning use of overhead imagery – working group activities, a listing of briefings to the committee at its monthly meetings (including a September NRO briefing on NRO imagery support to homeland defense) and the use of national systems in support of civil departments and agencies.

Document 7: Civil Applications Committee, Civil Applications Committee 2004 Activity Report , n.d., Unclassified/For U.S. Government Use Only.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey Freedom of Information Act Release.

This version of the CAC annual activity report mirrors the contents of reports from previous years (Documents 5-6).

Document 8: Civil Applications Committee, Civil Applications Committee (CAC) Blue Ribbon Study: Terms of Reference, June 8, 2005. Unclassified.

Source: Office of the Director of National Intelligence Freedom of Information Act Release.

This document provides the terms of reference for a study to assess the CAC’s future role in the employment of Intelligence Community assets in support of committee members, as well as briefing material and a description of options. Included among the options is the transformation of the CAC into a DHS-run Domestic Applications Office, which became the basis for the failed attempt to establish a National Applications Office in the DHS.

Document 9: [Author Name Deleted], “NRO Works with Mission Partners to Provide Hurricane Relief,” Space Sentinel, Fall/Winter 2005. Classification Not Available.

Source: National Reconnaissance Office Freedom of Information Act Release.

This heavily redacted article, from a classified NRO journal, discusses use of classified space reconnaissance systems to support hurricane relief – specifically with regard to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Document 10: “NRO’s Directorate of Military Support Helps with Hurricane Katrina Relief,” Space Sentinel, Fall/Winter 2005. Classification Not Available.

Source: National Reconnaissance Office Freedom of Information Act Release.

This classified article also (see Document 9) discusses NRO support to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Document 11: Civil Applications Committee, Civil Applications Committee 2005 Activity Report, n.d., Unclassified/For Official Use Only.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey Freedom of Information Act Release.

This version of the CAC annual activity report includes sections on CAC highlights, a listing of briefings to the committee at its monthly meetings, working group activities, and the use of national systems in support of civil departments and agencies. It includes a table listing incidents – including hurricanes, volcanoes, and a coastal hazard – that led CAC members to request imagery support. (The location of some volcanic incidents were redacted because they occurred in foreign nations.)

Document 12: William Mullen, “NGA Expands Customer Base for Special-Security Events,” Pathfinder, July/August 2006. Unclassified.

Source: www.nga.mil.

This article, in the NGA’s unclassified journal, describes the agency’s use of overhead imagery in support of security for National Special Security Events – including the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, and the 2003 Super Bowl – and the role of the agency’s Office of Americas.

Document 13: Civil Applications Committee, Civil Applications Committee 2006 Activity Report , n.d., Unclassified/For Official Use Only.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey Freedom of Information Act Release.

This version of the CAC annual activity report includes sections on CAC highlights, a listing of briefings to the committee at its monthly meetings (including several concerning geospatial intelligence), working group activities, and the use of national systems in support of civil departments and agencies.

Document 14: Civil Applications Committee, Civil Applications Committee 2007 Activity Report , n.d., Unclassified/For Official Use Only.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey Freedom of Information Act Release.

As with previous years, this version of the CAC annual activity report includes sections on CAC highlights, a listing of briefings to the committee at its monthly meetings, working group activities, and CAC member projects employing national systems. It also includes a list of volcanoes whose monitoring was requested by CAC members.

Document 15: [Author Name Deleted], “Overhead Support to Humanitarian Relief and Environmental Research,” Space Sentinel, Winter/Spring 2008. Classification Not Available.

Source: National Reconnaissance Office Freedom of Information Act Release.

Similar to earlier articles in the Space Sentinel (Document 9, Document 10), this article discusses the use of NRO systems in humanitarian relief and environmental research.

Document 16: Civil Applications Committee, Civil Applications Committee 2008 Activity Report, n.d. Unclassified/For Official Use Only.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey Freedom of Information Act Release.

This version of the CAC annual activity report includes sections on CAC highlights, a listing of briefings to the committee at its monthly meetings, data requested by CAC members, and data requests related to volcano monitoring.

Document 17: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, NSGM FA 1806, Domestic Imagery, Revision 5, March 2009. Unclassified/For Official Use Only.

Source: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Freedom of Information Act Release.

This directive focuses on NGA procedures with regard to domestic imagery. It covers domestic imagery requesters and users, domestic imagery use policy, special applications of domestic imagery, approval procedures, and contact information.

Document 18: NORAD and USNORTHCOM, California Wildfires 2007-2008, April 2009. Unclassified.

Source: Editor’s Collection.

This NORAD/NORTHCOM study includes discussion of the use of aerial reconnaissance systems – the U-2, P-3, and Global Hawk – to help monitor California wildfires during 2007 and 2008. It also includes examples of U-2 and Global Hawk imagery.

Document 19: NORAD and USNORTHCOM, Instruction 14-3, Domestic Imagery, May 5, 2009. Unclassified/For Official Use Only.

Source: NORTHCOM Freedom of Information Act Release.

This document is the NORAD and USNORTHCOM version of NGA’s regulation (Document 17) on domestic imagery. It covers purpose, policy, and duties and responsibilities.

Document 20a: Chris Vaughan, “Inauguration Support to the U.S. Secret Service,” Pathfinder, May/June 2009. Unclassified.

Document 20b: Chris Viselli, “Inauguration Support to the FBI,” Pathfinder, May/June 2009. Unclassified.

Document 20c: Michelle Bonifas, “Inauguration Support to FEMA,” Pathfinder, May/June 2009. Unclassified.

Source: www.nga.mil.

Probably the most important National Special Security Event is the Presidential Inauguration. These articles, from NGA’s in-house journal, discuss the use of overhead imagery (obtained from a variety of sources) to support the protective efforts of the Secret Service, the FBI, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Document 21: Civil Applications Committee, Civil Applications Committee 2009 Activity Report , n.d. Classification Not Available.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey Freedom of Information Act Release.

Similar to previous iterations, this version of the CAC annual activity report includes sections on CAC highlights, CAC members agency activities, the subjects of CAC monthly meetings, and a partial list of data requests by CAC members.

Document 22: NORAD, NORTHCOM, and First Air Force, Incident Awareness and Assessment (IAA), June 2010. Unclassified.

Source: Homeland Security Digital Library (www.hsdl.org).

This manual describes different types of overhead imagery and MASINT sensors and their capabilities, which may be employed in performance of the US military’s Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) mission.

Document 23: [Author Name Deleted], “National Incident Response in the Gulf of Mexico,” Space Sentinel, Summer 2010. Classification Not Available.

Source: National Reconnaissance Office Freedom of Information Act Release.

The NRO’s response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster is the subject of this classified article. It also indicates that the identity of one of the agencies that responded to the incident has been redacted from the version released.

Document 24: Chad C. Haddal and Jeremiah Gertler, Congressional Research Service, Homeland Security: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Border Surveillance, July 8, 2010. Unclassified.

Source: Federation of American Scientists (www.fas.org).

This CRS study examines the strengths and limitations of U.S. Customs and Border Protection use of unmanned aerial vehicles to monitor U.S. borders. It also explores a number of issues facing Congress with regard to their use — including effectiveness, benefits, and safety concerns.

Document 25: Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Department of Homeland Security, Interagency Remote Sensing Coordination Cell, July 15, 2011. Unclassified.

Source: www.publicintelligence.net.

This briefing describes the composition, responsibilities, and key principles of the DHS-managed Interagency Remote Sensing Coordination Cell (IRSCC). It also lists past IRSCC activities in seven different categories, as well as key documents related to IRSCC policies and responsibilities.

Document 26: Ty Mark, “NGA Domestic Operations Team East Supports the MLB All-Star Game,” Pathfinder, November/December 2011. Unclassified.

Source: www.nga.mil.

This article, in the NGA’s magazine, briefly describes the GEOINT support provided by the agency’s Domestic Operations Team East to the city of Phoenix prior to and during the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game – repeating the support it provided to Phoenix during the 2008 Super Bowl.

Document 27: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Fact Sheet, “Domestic Mobile Integrated Geospatial-Intelligence System,” November 17, 2011. Unclassified.

Source: www.nga.mil.

This fact sheet describes the mobile unit that provides geospatial intelligence to U.S. agencies responding to federal, state, and local governments dealing with domestic crises, natural disasters, or special events.

Document 28: Federal Bureau of Investigation, “America is in danger of becoming something of a legal backwater,” February 2012. Classification Not Available.

Source: National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (www.nacdl.org/domesticdrones)

This FBI briefing addresses the constitutional issues involved in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for domestic surveillance, administrative law with regard to the vehicles, and the interaction between the FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Document 29: Center for the Study of National Reconnaissance, HEXAGON (KH-9) Imagery, April 2012. Unclassified.

Source: www.nro.gov.

This sampling of imagery from the NRO’s HEXAGON/KH-9 satellites (which were orbited between 1971 and 1984) contains two images of sites in New York City – the World Trade Center and Shea Stadium.

Document 30: Office of Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security, OIG-12-85, CBP’s Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the Nation’s Border Security, May 2012, Unclassified.

Source: www.oig.dhs.gov.

The focus of this Inspector General report is whether the DHS Customs and Border Protection service “established an adequate operation plan to define, prioritize, and execute its unmanned aircraft mission.” The report concludes that the CBP needs to improve its planning for use of unmanned aerial vehicles and offers four recommendations.

Document 31: Richard M. Thompson, II, Congressional Research Service, Drones in Domestic Surveillance Operations: Fourth Amendment Implications and Legislative Responses, April 3, 2013. Unclassified.

Source: www.fas.org.

This study focuses on the general question of Fourth Amendment search jurisprudence, the application of the Fourth Amendment to drone surveillance, and legislative proposals in the 113th Congress designed to limit the domestic use of drones.

Document 32a: Senator Rand Paul, letter to Robert S. Mueller, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, June 20, 2013. Unclassified.

Document 32b: Senator Rand Paul, letter to Robert S. Mueller, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, July 9, 2013. Unclassified.

Document 32c: Stephen D. Kelly, Assistant Director, Office of Congressional Affairs, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Letter to Senator Rand Paul, July 19, 2013. Unclassified.

Document 32d: Senator Rand Paul, letter to Robert S. Mueller, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, July 25, 2013. Unclassified.

Document 32e: Stephen D. Kelly, Assistant Director, Office of Congressional Affairs, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Letter to Senator Rand Paul, July 29, 2013. Unclassified.

Source: www.paul.senate.gov.

This exchange of letters between Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Director of the FBI Robert Mueller, and the FBI’s assistant director of congressional affairs began with Paul’s June 20 (Document 32a) letter to Mueller, which posed eleven questions concerning the FBI’s use of drones. Included were questions concerning privacy and Fourth Amendment protections, the number of drones possessed by the FBI, and whether any of the FBI’s drones were armed.

Document 33: Stephen D. Kelly, Assistant Director, Office of Congressional Affairs, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Letter to Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Rep. Ted Poe, July 19, 2013. Unclassified.

Source: www.governmentattic.org.

Addressed to two members of the House Judiciary Committee, this letter from the FBI’s assistant director of congressional affairs, as with the letters to Rand Paul (Document 32c, Document 32e), discuss the FBI’s use of drones to conduct surveillance in support of its law enforcement missions.

Document 34: Commander, Air Combat Command, ACC Instruction 10-810, Operations Involving Domestic Imagery Support Request (ISR/OPSRECCE/RPA) Procedures for US Missions, December 17, 2013. Unclassified.

Source: www.publicintelligence.net.

This instruction is the Air Combat Command counterpart of the NGA (Document 17) and NORAD/NORTHCOM (Document 19) regulations governing domestic imagery. It covers purpose, approval authority, approval process, and roles and responsibilities.

Document 35: Rebecca Gambler, Director, Homeland, Security & Justice, Government Accountability Office w/att: Government Accountability Office, GAO-14-849R, Unmanned Aerial Systems: Department of Homeland Security’s Review of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Use and Compliance with Privacy and Civil Liberty Laws and Standards, September 30, 2014. Unclassified.

Source: www.gao.gov.

Attached to this letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House appropriations subcommittees on national security is this report, prepared in response to a legislative mandate, which addresses whether the CBP’s use of UAVs complies with “existing law and applicable and civil liberty standards,” and is limited to border and coastal areas of the United States.

Document 36: Secretary of the Air Force, Air Force Instruction 14-104, Oversight of Intelligence Activities, November 5, 2014. Unclassified.

Source: www.fas.org.

A section of this instruction concerns domestic imagery from Air Force platforms,

including the distribution of such imagery.

Document 37: Office of Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security, OIG-15-17, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Unmanned Aircraft System Program Does Not Achieve Intended Results or Recognize All Costs of Operations, December 24, 2014. Unclassified.

Source: www.oig.dhs.gov.

This audit focuses on the effectiveness of the CBP’s use of unmanned aircraft, the cost of the program, and future costs. The auditors found that “after 8 years, CBP cannot prove that the program is effective because it has not developed performance measures.” They also concluded that the CBP had underestimated the cost of each flight by almost $10,000.

Document 38: U.S. Congress, Protecting Individuals from Mass Surveillance Act of 2015, 2015. Unclassified.

Source: www.cdn.arstechnica.net.

The objective of this legislation was to describe the circumstances under which Federal agencies may use unmanned aerial vehicles to conduct surveillance, and to protect “individual and collective privacy against warrantless governmental intrusion” through the use of UAVs.