18 U.S. Code § 2709 - Counterintelligence access to telephone toll and transactional records

§ 2709.
Counterintelligence access to telephone toll and transactional records
(a)Duty to Provide.—
A wire or electronic communication service provider shall comply with a request for subscriber information and toll billing records information, or electronic communication transactional records in its custody or possession made by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation under subsection (b) of this section.
(b)Required Certification.—The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or his designee in a position not lower than Deputy Assistant Director at Bureau headquarters or a Special Agent in Charge in a Bureau field office designated by the Director, may, using a term that specifically identifies a person, entity, telephone number, or account as the basis for a request—
(1)
request the name, address, length of service, and local and long distance toll billing records of a person or entity if the Director (or his designee) certifies in writing to the wire or electronic communication service provider to which the request is made that the name, address, length of service, and toll billing records sought are relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such an investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely on the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and
(2)
request the name, address, and length of service of a person or entity if the Director (or his designee) certifies in writing to the wire or electronic communication service provider to which the request is made that the information sought is relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such an investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
(c) Prohibition of Certain Disclosure.—
(1) Prohibition.—
(A)In general.—
If a certification is issued under subparagraph (B) and notice of the right to judicial review under subsection (d) is provided, no wire or electronic communication service provider that receives a request under subsection (b), or officer, employee, or agent thereof, shall disclose to any person that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained access to information or records under this section.
(B)Certification.—The requirements of subparagraph (A) shall apply if the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or a designee of the Director whose rank shall be no lower than Deputy Assistant Director at Bureau headquarters or a Special Agent in Charge of a Bureau field office, certifies that the absence of a prohibition of disclosure under this subsection may result in—
(i)
a danger to the national security of the United States;
(ii)
interference with a criminal, counterterrorism, or counterintelligence investigation;
(iii)
interference with diplomatic relations; or
(iv)
danger to the life or physical safety of any person.
(2) Exception.—
(A)In general.—A wire or electronic communication service provider that receives a request under subsection (b), or officer, employee, or agent thereof, may disclose information otherwise subject to any applicable nondisclosure requirement to—
(i)
those persons to whom disclosure is necessary in order to comply with the request;
(ii)
an attorney in order to obtain legal advice or assistance regarding the request; or
(iii)
other persons as permitted by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the designee of the Director.
(B)Application.—
A person to whom disclosure is made under subparagraph (A) shall be subject to the nondisclosure requirements applicable to a person to whom a request is issued under subsection (b) in the same manner as the person to whom the request is issued.
(C)Notice.—
Any recipient that discloses to a person described in subparagraph (A) information otherwise subject to a nondisclosure requirement shall notify the person of the applicable nondisclosure requirement.
(D)Identification of disclosure recipients.—
At the request of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the designee of the Director, any person making or intending to make a disclosure under clause (i) or (iii) of subparagraph (A) shall identify to the Director or such designee the person to whom such disclosure will be made or to whom such disclosure was made prior to the request.
(d) Judicial Review.—
(1)In general.—
A request under subsection (b) or a nondisclosure requirement imposed in connection with such request under subsection (c) shall be subject to judicial review under section 3511.
(2)Notice.—
A request under subsection (b) shall include notice of the availability of judicial review described in paragraph (1).
(e)Dissemination by Bureau.—
The Federal Bureau of Investigation may disseminate information and records obtained under this section only as provided in guidelines approved by the Attorney General for foreign intelligence collection and foreign counterintelligence investigations conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and, with respect to dissemination to an agency of the United States, only if such information is clearly relevant to the authorized responsibilities of such agency.
(f)Requirement That Certain Congressional Bodies Be Informed.—
On a semiannual basis the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall fully inform the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate, concerning all requests made under subsection (b) of this section.
(g)Libraries.—
A library (as that term is defined in section 213(1) of the Library Services and Technology Act (20 U.S.C. 9122(1)), the services of which include access to the Internet, books, journals, magazines, newspapers, or other similar forms of communication in print or digitally by patrons for their use, review, examination, or circulation, is not a wire or electronic communication service provider for purposes of this section, unless the library is providing the services defined in section 2510(15) (“electronic communication service”) of this title.
(Added Pub. L. 99–508, title II, § 201[(a)], Oct. 21, 1986, 100 Stat. 1867; amended Pub. L. 103–142, Nov. 17, 1993, 107 Stat. 1491; Pub. L. 104–293, title VI, § 601(a), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3469; Pub. L. 107–56, title V, § 505(a), Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 365; Pub. L. 109–177, title I, § 116(a), Mar. 9, 2006, 120 Stat. 213; Pub. L. 109–178, §§ 4(b), 5, Mar. 9, 2006, 120 Stat. 280, 281; Pub. L. 114–23, title V, §§ 501(a), 502(a), 503(a), June 2, 2015, 129 Stat. 282, 283, 289.)
Amendments

2015—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 114–23, § 501(a), substituted “may, using a term that specifically identifies a person, entity, telephone number, or account as the basis for a request” for “may” in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 114–23, § 502(a), added subsec. (c) and struck out former subsec. (c) which related to prohibition of certain disclosure.

Subsecs. (d) to (g). Pub. L. 114–23, § 503(a), added subsec. (d) and redesignated former subsecs. (d) to (f) as (e) to (g), respectively.

2006—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 109–177 reenacted heading without change and amended text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “No wire or electronic communication service provider, or officer, employee, or agent thereof, shall disclose to any person that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained access to information or records under this section.”

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 109–178, § 4(b), amended par. (4) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (4) read as follows: “At the request of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the designee of the Director, any person making or intending to make a disclosure under this section shall identify to the Director or such designee the person to whom such disclosure will be made or to whom such disclosure was made prior to the request, but in no circumstance shall a person be required to inform the Director or such designee that the person intends to consult an attorney to obtain legal advice or legal assistance.”

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 109–178, § 5, added subsec. (f).

2001—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 107–56, § 505(a)(1), inserted “at Bureau headquarters or a Special Agent in Charge in a Bureau field office designated by the Director” after “Deputy Assistant Director” in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 107–56, § 505(a)(2), struck out “in a position not lower than Deputy Assistant Director” after “(or his designee” and substituted “made that the name, address, length of service, and toll billing records sought are relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such an investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely on the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and” for “made that—

“(A) the name, address, length of service, and toll billing records sought are relevant to an authorized foreign counterintelligence investigation; and

“(B) there are specific and articulable facts giving reason to believe that the person or entity to whom the information sought pertains is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power as defined in section 101 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801); and”.

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 107–56, § 505(a)(3), struck out “in a position not lower than Deputy Assistant Director” after “(or his designee” and substituted “made that the information sought is relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such an investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.” for “made that—

“(A) the information sought is relevant to an authorized foreign counterintelligence investigation; and

“(B) there are specific and articulable facts giving reason to believe that communication facilities registered in the name of the person or entity have been used, through the services of such provider, in communication with—

“(i) an individual who is engaging or has engaged in international terrorism as defined in section 101(c) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or clandestine intelligence activities that involve or may involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States; or

“(ii) a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power under circumstances giving reason to believe that the communication concerned international terrorism as defined in section 101(c) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or clandestine intelligence activities that involve or may involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States.”

1996—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 104–293 inserted “local and long distance” before “toll billing records”.

1993—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–142, § 1, amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: “Required Certification.—The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (or an individual within the Federal Bureau of Investigation designated for this purpose by the Director) may request any such information and records if the Director (or the Director’s designee) certifies in writing to the wire or electronic communication service provider to which the request is made that—

“(1) the information sought is relevant to an authorized foreign counterintelligence investigation; and

“(2) there are specific and articulable facts giving reason to believe that the person or entity to whom the information sought pertains is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power as defined in section 101 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801).”

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 103–142, § 2, inserted “, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate,” after “Senate”.

 

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