"There is also good reason for the perception that the CIA exceeded its authorities during its NYPD partnership. When the CIA was created in 1947, lawmakers instructed it not to exercise “police, subpoena, or law enforcement powers or domestic security functions.” Congress’s aim to prevent Agency operations at home is plain, but the exact nature of forbidden “domestic security functions” is now defined in large part by secret rules. What is known about the CIA’s authority is mostly contained in Executive Order 12333, first issued by President Ronald Reagan and updated by later presidents."


A recent report by the CIA’s inspector general shows that such cooperation can easily go wrong. Between 2002 and 2012 the CIA sent four agents to help the NYPD’s counterterrorism unit (which is led by a former agency official) without making sure that they knew the limits of what they could and couldn’t do. According to the inspector general, this type of “close and direct collaboration with any local domestic police department” could lead to the perception that the agency had “exceeded its authorities.”