Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) announced the committee on Tuesday approved by a vote of 14-1 the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.
The legislation authorizes intelligence funding to counter terrorist threats, prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, enhance counterintelligence, conduct covert actions and collect and analyze intelligence around the globe.
Consistent with the Administration's budget request, the Intelligence Committee reduced spending from fiscal year 2012 without harming national security.
The legislation includes a title on preventing unauthorized disclosures of classified information to improve the government's ability to prevent and detect unauthorized disclosures that harm national security and investigate and punish those responsible.
"The collection and analysis of intelligence is essential to protecting our citizens and country," said Chairman Feinstein. "Leaks of classified information regarding intelligence sources and methods can disrupt intelligence operations, threaten the lives of intelligence officers and assets, and make foreign partners less likely to work with us. The culture of leaks has to change."
"This bill has a number of important provisions that provide the intelligence community with the tools and resources necessary to help keep the country safe," said Vice Chairman Chambliss. "In particular, the leaks title, which was negotiated with the House, is a strong step toward stemming the torrent of leaks. I urge the administration to reject the status quo and work with Congress to pass these and any other needed changes into law."
The approved bill includes a series of provisions to prevent leaks, including:
A requirement the executive branch notifies Congress when making certain authorized disclosures of intelligence information to the public;
A requirement for the Director of National Intelligence to improve the process for conducting administrative leaks investigations, including a requirement to proactively identify leaks and take administrative action when necessary;
A restriction on the number of intelligence community employees authorized to communicate with the media;
A provision to improve non-disclosure agreements and the penalties for non-compliance;
A prohibition on current and former intelligence officials entering into certain contracts with media organizations;
A report from the attorney general on possible improvements to the criminal process for investigating and prosecuting leaks; and
A provision to improve the intelligence community's ability to detect insider threats.