Steven Aftergood: CRS on Cross-Cutting Intelligence Issues

Corruption, Government, Ineptitude, Peace Intelligence
Steven Aftergood
Steven Aftergood


A new report from the Congressional Research Service raises the possibility that polygraph testing of intelligence employees could be phased out in favor of “continuous evaluation” (CE), i.e. the automated monitoring of financial, criminal and other databases.

The notion was suggested in a CRS overview of selected intelligence policy issues, including budget management, the quality of analysis, big data, workforce diversity, global coverage, and transparency. The new CRS report, written by Anne Daugherty Miles, does not make recommendations, but instead presents a series of questions for congressional consideration, such as:

“In light of the IC’s use of CE to continually monitor an employee’s social and financial activity, are polygraph examinations still necessary?”

“Are there portions of the IC budget that could be made more transparent to the American public without endangering national security?”

“Should the IC be expected to monitor every corner of the world every hour of the day?”

“What authorities are needed to enhance cooperation with outside experts?”

“Are the new principles of transparency sufficient? Can the DNI do more to promote transparency across the IC?” (The April 15 CRS report does not take note of the latest steps by DNI Clapper to invigorate IC implementation of the Fundamental Classification Guidance Review or to establish the IC Transparency Council.)

This particular CRS report does not address intelligence surveillance policy, whistleblower policy, or various other intelligence-related topics of current controversy or interest.


The U.S. Intelligence Community: Selected Cross-Cutting Issues, April 12, 2016: