Dearest Delegates to the Central Intelligence Agency,
Welcome to the most powerful committee at Harvard Model Congress! The Central Intelligence Agency is the primary organization within the US government tasked with intelligence gathering, processing and analyzing intelligence from around the world in order to defend and further US interests. Formed immediately following World War II in an attempt to centralize US intelligence gathering, the agency has rapidly evolved. Originally, this was primarily accomplished through the use of informants and other traditional espionage techniques. However, in recent years there has been a shift towards new intelligence gathering techniques in response to the increasing importance of computers. The CIA’s standard operating procedures are shrouded in shadows for the sake of national security; many of their actions are classified as top secret and the public rarely is aware of them.
In today’s society, everything is digital. It is virtually impossible to do anything without leaving a fingerprint somewhere online. Digital surveillance and covert intelligence gathering could give the US a marked advantage in countering threats from around the world. However, this raises questions of implementation and ethcis. How should the Agency approach this issue?
Following the reveal of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program, there have been many questions regarding the ethics of these techniques. Draft executive orders by the new administration have revealed the possibility of a return to extranational rendition and detention operations. However, as you are aware, these can be a way to “legalize” enhanced interrogation. Is there a way to balance the need for intelligence gathering with the ethical considerations surrounding it?
The CIA is truly an amazing committee. During the conference, you'll grapple with challenge issues affecting national security, privacy and human rights. We will spend time examining the CIA's authority to detain individuals overseas and bring them across borders. We'll consider how to gather intelligence in a changing and increasingly digital world. As delegates representing the US's largest foreign intelligence agency, you will be challenged to make decisions that will have a tremendous impact on the safety and security of Americans and people around the world. As you can tell, we have our work cut out for us!
We look forward to meeting you all in January at this session of HMC Dubai!
Chairs, Central Intelligence Agency, HMCD 2017