Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

National Security Law Research Guide

This guide covers U.S. military, espionage, homeland security, and classification/declassification law.

Agency Regulations, Directives, and Other Documents

  1. Executive Branch Agencies and Departments.
    Numerous federal departments and agencies make regulations and policies related to national security. The most important of these agencies and departments are listed here, along with the locations of their home pages, their regulations within the Code of Federal Regulations (where applicable), and other publications (where applicable). For help finding regulations, see section B below.
    1. Central Intelligence Agency [].
      1. General regulations: 32 C.F.R. pts. 1900-1999
      2. Director of Central Intelligence Directives (selected):
    2. Office of the Director of National Intelligence [].
      The Director of National Intelligence serves as the head of the U.S. intelligence community and as principal adviser to the President, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council on intelligence matters. In October of 2005, the ODNI released the National Intelligence Strategy of the United States of America []. A new version of the strategy was published in 2009. [].
    3. Department of Defense [].
      Some, but not all, Department of Defense regulations are originally published in the Federal Register and later codified in the collowing sections of the C.F.R.
      • 2 C.F.R. 1100-1199
      • 5 C.F.R. 3600-3699
      • 32 C.F.R. 1-1099
      • 40 C.F.R. 1700-1799

      However, many DOD internal operating procedures, called directives, instructions, and publications, are not published in either the C.F.R. or theFederal Register. Some may not be available to the public at all. Many of those which are publicly available can be found at the Defense Technical Information Center home page at

      1. Joint Chiefs of Staff []
      2. Air Force []:
        1. General regulations: 32 C.F.R. pts. 800-1099
        2. Internal operating procedures/directives:
      3. Army [] :
        1. General regulations: 32 C.F.R. pts. 400-699
        2. Internal operating procedures/directives:
      4. Coast Guard - see Department of Homeland Security, below.
      5. Marines [] :
        1. General regulations: See Navy, below
        2. Internal operating procedures/directives:
      6. Navy [] :
        1. General regulations: 32 C.F.R. pts. 700-799
        2. Internal operating procedures/directives:
      7. National Security Agency/Central Security Service []. The NSA is the United States' cryptologic organization. It coordinates, directs, and performs highly specialized activities to protect U.S. information systems and produce foreign intelligence information.
    4. Department of Homeland Security []. Regulations of the Department of Homeland Security itself are published in 6 C.F.R. The Presidential Reorganization Plan for creating the DHS pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 is available here:
      Several other agencies operate under the umbrella of the DHS. Their regulations appear in other parts of the C.F.R., including, but not limited to, the following:
      1. Citizenship and Immigration Services []: 8 C.F.R. The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services provides all services formerly provided by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, including asylum and refugee processing, naturalization, and document issuance and renewal.
      2. Coast Guard [] :
        1. General regulations: 33 C.F.R. pts. 1-12446 C.F.R. pts. 1-4049 C.F.R. pts. 450-453
        2. Internal operating procedures:
      3. Customs and Border Protection []: 19 C.F.R. pts. 1-199. CBP is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). CBP combined the inspectional workforces and broad border authorities of U.S. Customs, U.S. Immigration, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the entire U.S. Border Patrol.
      4. Federal Emergency Management Agency []: 44 C.F.R. pts. 0-399. FEMA leads the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.
      5. Transportation Security Administration []: 49 C.F.R. pts. 1500-1699. The TSA regulates and manages airport security screening and the air marshal program.
    5. Department of Justice []: 28 C.F.R. The mission of the DOJ is to enforce federal law and to defend the interests of the United States according to law. There are at least two law enforcement agencies under the control of the Department of Justice that play roles in homeland security:
      1. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives []: 27 C.F.R.
      2. Federal Bureau of Investigation []: 28 C.F.R. pts. 0.85-0.89a.
    6. Department of State []: 22 C.F.R. pts. 1-199.
    7. Executive Office of the President []:
      1. 3 C.F.R. (Includes Executive Orders and Presidential Documents)
      2. Directives related to national security (selected; for more information, see the CRS Report "Presidential Directives: Background and Overview"):
    8. Information Security Oversight Office of the National Archives & Records Administration[]: 32 C.F.R. pts. 200-2009. The ISOO is responsible to the President for policy oversight of the government-wide security classification system and the National Industrial Security Program. For more information on the law of classified information, see part VIII. of this guide, below.
    9. National Security Council []: 32 C.F.R. pts. 2100-2199. The National Security Council is the President's principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and cabinet officials. The function of the Council is to advise and assist the President on national security and foreign policies.
    10. Department of the Treasury []: 31 C.F.R.
      1. Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence
        The mission of the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence is to safeguard the U.S. and international financial systems from abuse by terrorist financing, money laundering, and other financial crime, and to sever the lines of financial support to international terrorists.
        1. Office of Foreign Assets Control: []:31 C.F.R. pts. 500-599. The Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States.
      2. Secret Service []: 31 C.F.R. pts. 401-413. The Secret Service protects the President, Vice-President, their families, and heads of state, and plans and implements security designs for designated national special security events. It also investigates counterfeiting, access device fraud, financial institution fraud, identity theft, computer fraud, and computer-based attacks on the nation's financial, banking, and telecommunications infrastructure.

  2. Where to Find Federal Regulations Related to National Security Law.
    For a guide to the federal executive-branch regulatory process and the process of conducting federal administrative law research in general, see the Law Library's Administrative Law Research Guide at .

    Federal agencies' regulations appear in the following publications:

    1. Federal Register (Fed. Reg.):
      1. Electronic:
        1. Web (free): FDSys
        2. Westlaw: FR (1981 - date)
        3. Lexis: Legal > Federal Legal - U.S. > FR - Federal Register (July, 1980 - date)
      2. Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.)
        1. Print: The current C.F.R. is located in the Reading Room stacks and with the federal materials on the Fifth Floor (KF70 .A3).
        2. Microfiche: 1938 - date (Media Services, Cabinets B13-B14)
        3. Electronic:
          1. Web (free): GPO Access offers two different C.F.R. databases.
            1. The first, available at, contains both an official, PDF version of the C.F.R., and an unofficial text version. Both of these versions must be updated using the List of Sections Affected and the Current List of C.F.R. Parts Affected. (For instructions on how to do this updating, see the Library's Administrative Law Research Guide at
            2. The second, available at, is current within about 2 or 3 business days, but is unofficial because it does not provide PDF images of the pages.
          2. Westlaw: CFR
          3. Lexis: Legal > Federal Legal - U.S. > CFR - Code of Federal Regulations