Cyber “Emergency” Order Nets No Culprits

In April 2015, President Obama issued Executive Order 13694 declaring a national emergency to deal with the threat of hostile cyber activity against the United States. But six months later, the emergency powers that he invoked to punish offenders had still not been used because no qualifying targets were identified, according to a newly released […]

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Pre-Publication Review Must Be Timely & Fair, Says HPSCI

Current and former intelligence community employees (as well as some other government employees) are obliged to submit their writings for official review prior to publication in order to screen them for classified information. This is often an onerous, time-consuming and frustrating process. It sometimes appears to authors to be conducted in bad faith. The House […]

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Federal Prison Population Buildup, and More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that have not been made publicly available online include the following. The Federal Prison Population Buildup: Options for Congress, May 20, 2016 Zika Response Funding: Request and Congressional Action, May 20, 2016 Pay Equity: Legislative and Legal Developments, May 20, 2016 The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery […]

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Some State Secrets Cases May Stay Secret

A definitive accounting of the number of lawsuits in which the U.S. Government has invoked the state secrets privilege cannot be provided because some of those cases may be too sensitive to acknowledge or disclose, the Department of Justice told Congress in newly released correspondence from 2013. “Some matters involving classified or sensitive information may […]

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The RICO Statutes, and More from CRS

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee rejected two amendments to improve authorized public access to reports of the Congressional Research Service. However, unauthorized public access remains robust. The latest Congressional Research Service reports include the following. RICO: A Brief Sketch, May 18, 2016 Federal Reserve: Legislation in the 114th Congress, May 19, 2016 U.S.-EU Data […]

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DoD Biometric Collection, and More Military Doctrine

Department of Defense procedures for collecting biometric data are presented in a newly updated manual, which also provides some insight into the military and intelligence applications of such data. “Biometrics are the measurable physical and behavioral characteristics that can establish and verify an individual’s identity,” the manual explains. “Operators currently collect facial images, fingerprints, iris […]

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National Security Space Launch, and More from CRS

In a worst-case scenario, the United States could be left without a launch vehicle needed to deploy national security space payloads within the next several years. The ongoing turbulence within national security space policy is reviewed in a new report from the Congressional Research Service. See National Security Space Launch at a Crossroads, May 13, […]

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Using Social Media in Background Investigations

A directive signed by the Director of National Intelligence yesterday formally authorizes the use of social media by official investigators who are conducting background investigations for security clearances. See Collection, Use, and Retention of Publicly Available Social Media Information in Personnel Security Background Investigations and Adjudications, Security Executive Agent Directive 5, May 12, 2016. The […]

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What Kind of Military Officers Does the US Need? (CRS)

There is a lack of consensus about what the U.S. military officer corps should look like, a new report from the Congressional Research Service says. Divergent views exist about what type of military officers the country needs, what skills they should have, how they should be distributed by grade, what criteria should be used for […]

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Delivery Drones, Confederate Flags, and More from CRS

The growing prospect of the use of drones for commercial delivery purposes is considered in a new memorandum from the Congressional Research Service. “Can you prevent a drone from flying over your house to deliver a package to your neighbor? Until now, that question has been of purely theoretical interest. However, the Senate recently passed […]

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