As scrutiny of the activities of the US National Security Agency (NSA) continues, a new Tumblr blog launched by the Office of the Director of National Security is promising more transparency on “lawful foreign surveillance activities” carried out by US agencies.
IC on the Record will host official statements, declassified documents, speeches, interviews, fact sheets and videos among other content.
Plans for the blog were announced by President Barack Obama earlier in August, as part of promises for more transparency on the activities of the US intelligence community in the wake of recent revelations about the NSA and its PRISM program of electronic surveillance.
“The intelligence community is creating a website that will serve as a hub for further transparency, and this will give Americans and the world the ability to learn more about what our intelligence community does and what it doesn’t do, how it carries out its mission, and why it does so,” Obama told journalists at the time.
The IC on the Record blog was launched with a post by US director of national intelligence James Clapper, who has been criticised recently after he apologised for misleading a Senate hearing by denying that the NSA collects information about US citizens.
“The goal of IC on the Record is to provide the public with direct access to factual information related to the lawful foreign surveillance activities carried out by the intelligence community,” wrote Clapper.
“In addition to comprehensive explanations of the authorities under which the intelligence community conducts foreign surveillance, the site will address methods of collection, use of collected data, and oversight and compliance.”
Subsequent posts have focused on declassified documents relating to section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa), with the promise that the IC on the Record blog will serve as a “single online location” to find more documents as they are made available.
The launch is a coup for Tumblr, which was acquired by Yahoo for $1.1bn earlier this year. Yahoo was listed as one of nine technology companies being tapped for data by the NSA’s Prism program earlier in the summer.