Department of Defense Regulation 5240.1-R, Procedures Governing the Activities of DOD Intelligence Components that Affect U.S. Persons, § C2.2.1 (Dec. 1982): When Information is Considered to be “Collected”
Information shall be considered as "collected" only when it has been received for use by an employee of a DoD intelligence component in the course of his official duties. Thus, information volunteered to a DoD intelligence component by a cooperating source would be "collected" under this procedure when an employee of such component officially accepts, in some manner, such information for use within that component. Data acquired by electronic means is "collected" only when it has been processed into intelligible form.