Intelligence Law: Surveillance and Covert Action

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
TUE, THU 2:40 - 4:01 pm TNH 2.140

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location
Final (administered by Exam4) May 8, 2021


This course will be taught in person but with the option of remote participation via Zoom.  Please note that this course might become online-only in the event that actual in-person attendance during the semester consistently falls below a threshold to be determined in the exercise of reasonable discretion by the instructor and the Student Affairs Office.

Interested in how law regulates the activities of the CIA, the NSA, and other parts of the U.S. Intelligence Community? This is your class. No prior knowledge of the topic or these institutions is required, and students from any graduate program at UT are welcome to sign up. We will begin with an orientation to these institutions, their history, and their functions, and then we will explore the legal and policy issues they raise. Much of the course is concerned with surveillance and other forms of information collection (think NSA, Snowden, FISA, "unmasking," and the like). Other key topics include the law regulating "covert action," assassination, and working with "dirty assets." Note: there is no casebook for this class.  I've been curating my own materials for this for many years, in order to ensure that you get the very latest of the publicly-available information about the U.S. government's intelligence activities.  I'll provide the whole thing to you as a .pdf (but with the option of having me provide you a hard-copy printed version, on my dime, if you prefer). Feel free to email me ( if you have questions.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

No materials required


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