FBI Employees in Meeting


The FBI uses intelligence to drive its decision-making. The information we get through intelligence gathering and sharing guides us in our mission to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution.

Gathering Intelligence

Gathering intelligence has always been critical to fulfilling the FBI’s mission. Some techniques we use to do this include interviews, wiretaps, and data analysis.

While the need for intelligence hasn’t changed, the threats confronting the country have evolved—and we’re constantly adapting to combat the threats we’re facing at home and abroad.

Protecting Privacy and Civil Liberties

Regardless of the intelligence-gathering technique, the FBI follows all laws, policies, and procedures designed to protect the privacy of the American people.

Intelligence collection is governed by:

  • The attorney general’s guidelines
  • Procedures for national security investigations and foreign intelligence collection
  • The U.S. Constitution
  • Federal law
  • Established criminal procedures
  • Authorities controlled by U.S. courts

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and Section 702 

Congress enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978 to provide oversight of foreign intelligence surveillance activities while maintaining the secrecy necessary to effectively monitor national security threats. FISA sets out procedures for physical and electronic surveillance and collection of foreign intelligence information. Section 702 permits only the targeting of non-U.S. persons who are reasonably believed to be located outside the U.S. It is not a bulk collection program. Learn More

Sharing Intelligence 

The FBI's Intelligence Branch manages the FBI's intelligence strategy, resources, policies, and programs.

Intelligence Community

The FBI is a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC)—a group of 17 federal agencies that collect intelligence. In addition to using intelligence to investigate and solve cases, the FBI shares it with other members of the IC who may be able to use the information.

Law Enforcement

The FBI often shares intelligence with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. Our Office of Partner Engagement works with the law enforcement community to build strategic partnerships, enhance capabilities, and support critical information sharing.

Private Sector

Through our Office of Private Sector, the FBI regularly shares information with the U.S. private sector and educational institutions to help them stay ahead of threats and mitigate the risks posed by criminals, terrorists, and nation-state actors. This collaboration helps protect our economic and national security.