Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Law and Legal Definition

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a independent civilian intelligence agency of the United States government that compiles intelligence information, conducts counterintelligence activities outside the United States, and advises the President and the National Security Council on matters of foreign intelligence and national security. The Central Intelligence Agency was created in 1947 with the signing of the National Security Act by President Harry S. Truman. The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (D/CIA) is nominated by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Director manages the operations, personnel, and budget of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The CIA director's responsibilities include:

  • Collecting intelligence through human sources and by other appropriate means, except that he shall have no police, subpoena, or law enforcement powers or internal security functions;
  • Correlating and evaluating intelligence related to the national security and providing appropriate dissemination of such intelligence;
  • Providing overall direction for and coordination of the collection of national intelligence outside the United States through human sources; and
  • Performing such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the President or the Director of National Intelligence may direct.
  • The function of the Central Intelligence Agency is to assist the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in carrying out the above said responsibilities.