June 26, 2000

Press Release

Newly Declassified Documents Detail Restrictions on
Identification of U.S. Persons in NSA Reports

On Friday, June 23, the National Security Archive published on the Internet a selection of recently declassified documents detailing restrictions intended to ensure that U.S. persons are not improperly identified in reports drawn from foreign communications intercepts.  The documents, including formerly secret training guides and memoranda from the National Security Agency (NSA), were released under the Freedom of Information Act.  NSA is the organization responsible for the interception and processing of foreign communications and other electronic signals (SIGINT) for the U.S. government.

The documents include guidance on reporting the identities of U.S. government officials – such as First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and former president Jimmy Carter – as well as other restrictions designed to ensure that the identities of Americans cannot be discerned through contextual information.  Other documents provide detailed guidance on the proper use of U.S. identities in SIGINT reports and the dissemination of reports including U.S. identities to consumers outside the United States SIGINT System.

The documents are published as part of an updated Archive Electronic Briefing Book titled, “The National Security Agency Declassified,” which also includes several other declassified documents relating to the history, organization and operations of the NSA, including the controversial ECHELON program.  These and other document collections on a wide range of U.S. foreign policy and national security issues can be found on the Archive’s website:


For more information contact:
Jeffrey Richelson – (703) 684-8274
Michael Evans – (202) 994-7029