Orgs Ask DNI to Preserve Access to World News Connection

More than a dozen professional societies and public interest groups wrote to the Director of National Intelligence last week to ask him to preserve public access to foreign news reports gathered, translated and published by the Open Source Center and marketed to subscribers through the NTIS World News Connection.

The CIA, which manages the Open Source Center for the intelligence community, intends to terminate public access to the World News Connection at the end of this month. (CIA Halts Public Access to Open Source Service, Secrecy News, October 8.)

Among other things, the groups said that this move is inconsistent with the President’s Open Government National Action Plan.

Rather than reducing the existing level of public access, “the U.S. government should expand public access to open source intelligence by publishing all unclassified, uncopyrighted Open Source Center products.”

The December 18 letter was coordinated by the National Coalition for History and is posted here.

Mary Webster, the Open Source Center Deputy Director for Information Access at CIA, did not respond to a request for comment.

BBC Monitoring in the United Kingdom provides a global news aggregation service that is comparable to the NTIS World News Connection and even includes many of the same translations.  A spokeswoman for BBC Monitoring told Secrecy News that her organization would gladly welcome new American customers if the US Government is unable or unwilling to meet their needs.

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