CIA: Cost of Personal Computer in 1987 is a Secret

Under the prevailing information policies of the Central Intelligence Agency, even some well-known public facts, such as the price of a popular personal computer, may be withheld from public disclosure. “We bought our first Commodore Amiga in 1987 for less than [price redacted] including software,” according to a paper entitled “NPIC, Amiga, and Videotape” from the CIA journal Studies in Intelligence. It was among hundreds of papers posted online this month in response to a […]

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DNI Issues Directive on Polygraph Policy

Polygraph testing is here to stay, judging from a new directive issued by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. The directive governs the use of polygraph testing in vetting executive branch agency personnel for security clearances or determining their eligibility for “sensitive” positions. The new Security Executive Agent Directive 2 on the use of the polygraph was obtained by Marisa Taylor of McClatchy News, who has done a series of in-depth news reports on polygraph […]

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Use of US Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2014, and More from CRS

Noteworthy new products of the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following. Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2014, September 15, 2014 American Foreign Fighters and the Islamic State: Broad Challenges for Federal Law Enforcement, CRS Insights, September 19, 2014 Man without a Country? Expatriation of U.S. Citizen “Foreign Fighters”, Legal Sidebar, September 15, 2014 Proposed Train and Equip Authorities for Syria: In Brief, September […]

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Energy Dept to Review Classification Standards for Clarity

The Department of Energy will review its classification standards to improve their clarity and to eliminate possible ambiguities, the Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration told the Federation of American Scientists this week. The issue arose in response to the case of James Doyle, a Los Alamos political scientist who published an article on nuclear weapons policy that was initially cleared for publication, but then was said to contain classified information. Doyle’s employment at […]

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State Secrets Privilege Used Improperly, Court is Told

When the government intervened in a private lawsuit to assert the state secrets privilege and to seek dismissal of the entire proceeding (Secrecy News, September 15), it acted improperly and misused the state secrets privilege, the attorney for the plaintiff in the case told the Court yesterday. “The Government has improperly invoked the state secrets privilege, deprived Plaintiffs of the opportunity to test the Government’s claims through the adversarial process, and limited the Court’s opportunity […]

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CIA Posts Hundreds of Declassified Journal Articles

The Central Intelligence Agency has posted hundreds of declassified and unclassified articles from its in-house journal Studies in Intelligence, in an effort to settle a lawsuit brought by a former employee, Jeffrey Scudder. Until lately, the CIA had resisted release of the requested articles in softcopy format (Secrecy News, March 17), but the Agency eventually relented. “Of the 419 documents that remain in dispute in Scudder, the CIA has produced 249 in full or in […]

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Court Requires Review of State Secrets Documents

Over the objections of government attorneys, a federal judge said yesterday that he would require in camera review of documents that the government says are protected by the state secrets privilege. The issue arose in the case of Gulet Mohamed v. Eric Holder, challenging the constitutionality of the “no fly” list. The government had argued that it is “inappropriate” for a court to review such records to verify that they are validly privileged, and that […]

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Private Lawsuit Jeopardizes State Secrets, US Says

The U.S. Government asserted the state secrets privilege last week in a private lawsuit to which the government is not a party and moved for dismissal of the case. Greek businessman Victor Restis had filed a lawsuit last year against the private advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), alleging that the group had falsely and maliciously accused Restis of engaging in illict commerce with Iran. UANI, whose advisory board includes numerous former government officials, […]

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PDD 62: Counterterrorism Policy Prior to 9/11

According to a newly declassified White House policy directive, counterterrorism policy has yielded “an increased rate of renditions, apprehensions, and convictions of terrorists,” as well as “a significant expansion of counterterrorism legislative authorities” and “a large increase in counterterrorism funding.” But that White House directive — Presidential Policy Directive 62, Protection Against Unconventional Threats to the Homeland and Americans Overseas — was issued by President Bill Clinton, and dates from May 22, 1998. Even the […]

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Iraqi and Afghan Immigrant Visa Programs, and More from CRS

New products from the Congressional Research Service that have been withheld from online public distribution include the following. Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Programs, September 12, 2014 The Federal Trade Commission’s Regulation of Data Security Under Its Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices (UDAP) Authority, September 11, 2014 Diplomatic and Embassy Security Funding Before and After the Benghazi Attacks, September 10, 2014

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