First on CNN: More on NSA to be declassified
Updated On: Jul 31 2013 08:51:55 AM CDT
[Breaking news alert, 9:25 a.m. ET]
A top Senator said Wednesday that classified details of the recently revealed government collection of phone records showed little evidence that the program helped prevent dozens of specific terrorist attacks, as claimed by the head of the National Security Agency.
Also Wednesday, National Intelligence Director James Clapper declassified additional information about surveillance programs of the National Security Agency.
[Previously published story]
The U.S. intelligence community plans to declassify additional information about surveillance programs of the National Security Agency, possibly as soon as Tuesday, CNN has learned.
A senior U.S. official tells CNN the information includes "white papers" on surveillance programs but also previously undisclosed information about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The official declined to be identified because the information has not been made public yet and because of the sensitive nature of the information. He would not offer further details in advance of the declassification process, which could extend into later this week.
It is unclear how the additional information would be released.
This is all part of a "concerted" and "deliberate" effort to declassify additional information in the wake of the leaks by Edward Snowden, the official said.
James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, 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, although it does not appear the opinions themselves will be part of the upcoming declassification.
The aim is to publicly show once-secret FISC opinions dealing with the government's motions to get the court to approve surveillance beyond the collection of metadata and to move toward collecting actual content of communications.
Clapper and NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander have spoken publicly several times in recent weeks to explain the programs and try to garner support for them.
The official said beyond the additional declassification of documents, the terms "concerted" and "deliberate" best describe the intelligence community's post-Snowden effort to explain the programs to Congress and the American people to gather support for continuing the collection of data.
A DNI spokesman told CNN Monday, "The DNI is leaning forward and telling others to be more transparent as much as possible."
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