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Georgetown University


Detailed Course Information


Fall 2017
Jan 19, 2018
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SEST 681 - Legal Issues:Intel Officers
This seminar examines the unique legal issues that confront U.S. policymakers who use intelligence products, and the intelligence officers within the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) that produce intelligence.  The seminar will provide students with an overview of the IC and its sources of legal authority and an awareness of the fundamental legal issues related to various intelligence activities, ranging from collection of signals intelligence (Fourth Amendment privacy issues), use of cover identities for intelligence officers (diplomatic/international law) to covert action (constitutional separation of powers issues and law of armed conflict questions).  

The first sessions of the class will cover an overview of the IC, its functions, and interactions with policymakers, as well as the legal framework which governs U.S. intelligence activities.  Later in the semester, we will examine specific intelligence activities and the legal issues involved.  Students will be responsible for debating the larger policy questions about how legal rules affect the execution of intelligence activities.  

The overarching goal of the class will be to (1) familiarize students with the legal issues involved with various intelligence activities, and, more importantly, (2) prepare students to participate in the ongoing policy debate about whether existing legal rules are well-tailored to protect both U.S. national security and civil liberties, constitutional rights, and the rule of law.

3.000 Credit hours
3.000 Lecture hours

Levels: MN or MC Graduate, Undergraduate
Schedule Types: Seminar

Security Studies Department

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