DoD updates field-operations manual for intelligence community

The Defense Department (DoD) recently released its latest DoD Manual 5240.01, “Procedures Governing the Conduct of DoD Intelligence Activities,” which updates rules governing DoD intelligence operations.


“The procedures set out rules governing how DoD intelligence elements will conduct activities supporting their missions while safeguarding legal rights and protections guaranteed by the Constitution to all U.S. persons,” Michael Mahar, a DoD senior intelligence oversight official, said. “…The procedures were carefully and methodically developed in 1982, and they've served us well for the many years since then. But we've reached the point now that, due to changes in technology, law and intelligence-collection practices, we were compelled to do a significant overhaul.”

The manual, which was approved by Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Attorney General Loretta Lynch in compliance with EO 12333, was updated through an interagency effort. Among key changes were those made to procedures governing how the DoD can collect, retain and disseminate information on U.S. citizens. The new manual also defines information collection as information being received by a DoD intelligence-community component.

“We took a very complex set of procedures and effectively updated them to deal with current and near-future operating practices and capabilities,” Mahar said.

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