Leaked Document to be Introduced in State Secrets Case

The plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the use of the “no fly list” to bar a US citizen from boarding an aircraft said last week that he would introduce a leaked copy of the government’s Watchlisting Guidance “to show just how objectionable and evidence-free Defendants’ watch listing process is.” The government said it did not acknowledge the authenticity of the leaked document, and that the case should be dismissed since the Attorney General had invoked […]

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Manufacturing Nuclear Weapon Pits, and More from CRS

A critical assessment of the feasibility of reaching the Department of Defense’s goal of producing 80 plutonium pits (or triggers) for nuclear weapons was prepared by the Congressional Research Service. It provides new analysis of the space and material requirements needed to achieve the declared goal. See Manufacturing Nuclear Weapon “Pits”: A Decisionmaking Approach for Congress, August 15, 2014. Other new or updated CRS reports obtained by Secrecy News include the following. The U.S. Military […]

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Insider Threat Program Advances, Slowly

Nearly two years after President Obama issued a National Insider Threat Policy “to strengthen the protection and safeguarding of classified information” against espionage or unauthorized disclosure, the effort is still at an early stage of development. Only last week, the U.S. Air Force finally issued a directive to implement the 2012 Obama policy. (AF Instruction 16-1402, Insider Threat Program Management). And even now it speaks prospectively of what the program “will” do rather than what […]

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Ebola-Stricken Americans Returning from Abroad, and More from CRS

New products from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following. Safe at Home? Letting Ebola-Stricken Americans Return, CRS Insights, August 5, 2014: 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review: Evolution of Strategic Review, CRS Insights, August 6, 2014 Reducing the Budget Deficit: Overview of Policy Issues, August 7, 2014 Juvenile Victims of Domestic Sex Trafficking: Juvenile Justice Issues, August 5, 2014 U.S.-EU Cooperation on Ukraine and Russia, CRS Insights, […]

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Congress Grapples with Classification Issues

A bill introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) would direct the President to reduce the amount of classified information by 10%. It is one of several new congressional initiatives seeking to rectify perceived defects in the national security classification system. Most prominently, the Senate Intelligence Committee is engaged in an ongoing dispute with the Administration over declassification of the Committee’s report on the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and interrogation program. Sen. […]

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Asylum for Unaccompanied Children, and More from CRS

New products from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following. Asylum Policies for Unaccompanied Children Compared with Expedited Removal Policies for Unauthorized Adults: In Brief, July 30, 2014 EPA’s Proposed CO2 Rule for Existing Power Plants: How Would It Affect Nuclear Energy?, CRS Insights, August 4, 2014 Shale Gas Gathering Pipelines: Safety Issues, CRS Insights, August 1, 2014 Nonmarital Births: An Overview, July 30, 2014 Export-Import Bank […]

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Identity Intelligence and Special Operations

“Identity intelligence” is a relatively new intelligence construct that refers to the analysis and use of personal information, including biometric and forensic data among others, to identify intelligence targets of interest and to deny them anonymity. The term began to appear a few years ago and was included, for example, in a 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency briefing package. Since then it has quickly propagated throughout U.S. military and intelligence operations. Identity intelligence (or I2) was […]

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US-Russia Economic Relations, and More from CRS

New and updated products of the Congressional Research Service obtained by Secrecy News include the following. U.S.-Russia Economic Relations, CRS Insights, July 29, 2014 Russia Sanctions: Options, CRS Insights, July 28, 2014 Protecting Civilian Flights from Missiles, CRS Insights, July 28, 2014 Possible Missile Attack on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, CRS Insights, July 28, 2014 Responding to Libya’s Political and Security Crises: Policy Choices for the United States, CRS Insights, July 28, 2014 The 2014 […]

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When the Administration Asks Itself to Declassify

In preparing its recent report on the Section 702 surveillance program, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) demonstrated an unusual mode of declassification, in which one executive branch agency asks another agency to declassify information. In this case, the process was remarkably productive, and it may offer a precedent for future declassification efforts. “During the process of preparing this report we sought and obtained declassification of facts about this still highly classified [Section […]

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Measuring the Loss of Manufacturing Jobs, and More from CRS

New or newly updated publications from the Congressional Research Service that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following. Free Exercise of Religion by Closely Held Corporations: Implications of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., July 23, 2014 What Is the Farm Bill?, July 23, 2014 Deploying 5G (Fifth Generation) Wireless Technology: Is the United States on Track?, CRS Insights, July 23, 2014 Federal Student Loan Forgiveness and Loan Repayment Programs, July 22, […]

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