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Relationship Between Section 203(d) of the Patriot Act and the Mandatory Disclosure Provision of Section 905(a) of the Patriot Act


The sweeping authority to share information set forth in section 203(d) of the Patriot Act has a significant impact on the scope of the mandatory information-sharing obligation set forth in section 905(a) of the Patriot Act. Section 905(a) requires disclosure of foreign intelligence to the Director of Central Intelligence unless disclosure is otherwise prohibited by law. Because of the sweep of section 203(d), however, it is always lawful to disclose information that comes under that section in order to assist a federal official in the performance of his official duties. As a result, the preemptive effect of section 203(d) on all other non-disclosure provisions means that, absent an exception provided for by the Attorney General, foreign intelligence that would assist the Director of Central Intelligence in the performance of his official duties must be disclosed pursuant to section 905(a) because no other applicable law can be said to provide otherwise.

Updated July 9, 2014