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Number of New Secrets in 2015 Near Historic Low

The production of new national security secrets dropped precipitously in the last five years and remained at historically low levels last year, according to a new annual report released today by the Information Security Oversight Office. There were 53,425 new secrets (“original classification decisions”) created by executive branch agencies in FY 2015. Though this represents […]

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A Burst of New Presidential Directives

On July 26, President Obama issued Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) 41 on United States Cyber Incident Coordination. Aside from the intrinsic interest of this document, it signifies an unexplained burst in the production of Presidential Policy Directives since the public release of PPD 30 in June 2015. Instead of the previous average of around 5 […]

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Titles of All 2015 CRS Reports Published

An internal congressional edition of the 2015 annual report of the Congressional Research Service includes a helpful listing of the titles of all CRS reports and other products that were issued in 2015 (at pp. 47-124). The availability of such a list makes it possible to identify and request specific reports whose existence would otherwise […]

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Dozens of Leak Referrals Sent to DoJ Each Year

Updated below Updated again below The Department of Justice said last week that it received dozens of “crimes reports” concerning unauthorized disclosures of classified information each year for most of the past several years, although only 18 such referrals were made in 2015. In a July 20 response to a Freedom of Information Act request, […]

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Seeking Verifiable Destruction of Nuclear Warheads

A longstanding conundrum surrounding efforts to negotiate reductions in nuclear arsenals is how to verify the physical destruction of nuclear warheads to the satisfaction of an opposing party without disclosing classified weapons design information. Now some potential new solutions to this challenge are emerging. Based on tests that were conducted by the Atomic Energy Commission […]

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Improved Coordination of HUMINT Collection Sought

The Director of National Intelligence issued — and last week published — a pair of Intelligence Community Directives (here and here) that aim to improve the coordination of human intelligence collection for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes. The directives are intended “to ensure the deconfliction, coordination, and integration of intelligence activities,” including liaison with foreign […]

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Russia Foreign Intelligence Service Expands

The headquarters complex of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) of the Russian Federation has expanded dramatically over the past decade, a review of open source imagery reveals. Since 2007, several large new buildings have been added to SVR headquarters, increasing its floor space by a factor of two or more. Nearby parking capacity appears to […]

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The Library of Alexandria and the Library of Congress

The great Library of Alexandria was renowned in antiquity as a repository of all accessible knowledge that aimed “to collect, if possible, all the books in the world” (according to the 2nd century BCE Letter of Aristeas). Until its destruction, perhaps at the hands of Julius Caesar, the Library reflected and helped to generate a […]

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NATO’s Warsaw Summit, and More from CRS

The July 8-9 NATO summit meeting in Warsaw, Poland, is previewed in a new report from the Congressional Research Service. “Among other things, NATO leaders are expected to announce the rotational deployment of 4,000 troops to Poland and the three Baltic states, an expanded training mission for Iraqi soldiers, and additional NATO support for Afghanistan […]

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FAS Roundup: July 5, 2016

Scientist Spotlight with Dr. Cameron Reed Scientist Spotlight returns with Dr. Cameron Reed, the Charles A. Dana Professor of Physics at Alma College, who teaches courses ranging from first-year algebra-based mechanics to senior-level quantum mechanics. His research has included both optical photometry of intrinsically bright stars in our Milky Way galaxy and the history of […]

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