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Collection (of information) is:

(A) means the obtaining, causing to be obtained, soliciting, or requiring the disclosure to third parties or the public, of facts or opinions by or for an agency, regardless of form or format, calling for either —
(i) answers to identical questions posed to, or identical reporting or recordkeeping requirements imposed on, ten or more persons, other than agencies, instrumentalities, or employees of the United States; or
(ii) answers to questions posed to agencies, instrumentalities, or employees of the United States which are to be used for general statistical purposes; and

(B) shall not include a collection of information described under section 3518(c)(1).[1]

[t]he identification, location, and recording/storing of information, typically from an original source and using both human and technological means, for input into the intelligence cycle for the purpose of meeting a defined tactical or strategic intelligence goal.[2]

A collection (of information) may also mean "[t]he directed, focused gathering of information from all available sources."[3]


  1. 44 U.S.C. §3502(3).
  2. Criminal Intelligence Glossary of Terms, at 36.
  3. INTERPOL, 1996, at 9.