Threat Management

US diplomacy to take significant hit should intelligence authorities renewal fail

U.S. Assistant Secretary for State Intelligence and Research Brett Holmgren has warned that Congress' failure to reauthorize a surveillance program under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act before its expiry by yearend would take a significant toll on the country's diplomatic efforts around the world, reports The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. "In 2022 alone a large percentage of [the Bureau of Intelligence and Research's] finished analytic products included 702 reporting, oftentimes 702 data was the most valuable source underpinning these assessments. As one of my managers put it, INR would not be able to fulfill its mandate to use intelligence to empower diplomacy without 702-derived reporting," said Holmgren at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Section 702 has been noted by Holmgren to be crucial in the U.S.'s efforts in discovering North Korea's fraudulent IT activities meant to fund its nuclear weapons program, as well as an unnamed Middle Eastern's efforts to track dissidents in the U.S. and other countries.

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