Surveillance of Spying

Archive Report

Public Scrutiny of Interlligence Agencies

Foreign intelligence activities of the federal government—freed from ordinary administrative and legislative controls because of the large element of secrecy required for their successful operation—are facing intensive scrutiny by Congress and the Executive Branch.

The super-secret Central Intelligence Agency, hitherto largely exempt from public surveillance and congressional review, recently became subject for the first time to periodic checking by an independent presidential board. The board, appointed by President Eisenhower in mid-January and composed of persons from outside the government, will report only to the Chief Executive, and most of its findings are likely to be held in confidence. However, Congress is preparing to take action on proposals designed to strengthen legislative supervision of C.I.A. and other government intelligence services.

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