A July 31 Department of Homeland Security report to Congress on the status of defenses against shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles was removed from the Federation of American Scientists web site after DHS objected (pdf) to its publication.
DHS urged that the unclassified report, marked “For Official Use Only,” be taken offline and, upon consideration, we agreed to do so.
“The Report has never been released by DHS to the public because it contains sensitive information such as the transition of military technology for potential civil use, systems performance of the prototype systems being developed by DHS and its partners, and the reliability of such prototype systems,” wrote DHS deputy associate general counsel William H. Anderson.
“Due to the sensitive nature of the Report, I request that your organization immediately remove the Report from its website.”
“If the Report is not removed from your website within 2 business days, we will consider further appropriate actions necessary to protect the information contained in the Report,” Mr. Anderson wrote in an August 9 letter.
“You took it offline? I’m surprised,” said one Congressional staffer who obtained the DHS report to Congress via FAS.
He said that executive branch restrictions on unclassified information had become a growing hindrance to Congressional oversight. If the document is really sensitive, he suggested, “it should be classified.”
Our intention is to review the document in light of the concerns expressed by DHS. Following such review, the document or portions of it may be restored to our web site.