Secrecy News

Army Documents Posted “Illegally,” Army Says

A U.S. Army official told the Federation of American Scientists that Army documents on the FAS web site had been published by FAS “illegally” and must be removed.

“There are only 5 Official Army Publications Sites,” wrote Cheryl Clark of the U.S. Army Publications Directorate in a May 4 email message. “You are not one of them.”

“You can link to our publications, but you cannot host them,” she wrote.

Furthermore, she indicated, a recent Army Regulation on “Operations Security” (first published by Wired News and mirrored on the FAS site) was “not intended for Public release.”

“Please remove this publication immediately or further action will be taken,” Ms. Clark warned.

“I have considered your request that we remove Army publications from the Federation of American Scientists web site,” I responded today. “I have decided not to comply.”

By law the Army cannot copyright its publications, the response explained. Nor is FAS, a non-governmental organization, subject to internal Army regulations on information policy.

“Accordingly, our publications are not illegal nor in violation of any applicable regulation.”

To eliminate potential confusion, we added a disclaimer to our Army doctrine web page indicating that the FAS collection of Army records is not an official Army source, and directing readers to several such official sites.