Security for Domestic Intelligence Facilities Revised

On June 13, a mentally ill man rammed his car into the gate at CIA headquarters, causing some damage and disruption (See “CIA Gate Crasher Gets 30-day Sentence” by Rachel Weiner, Washington Post, August 16). Three days later, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a new directive on Security Standards For Protecting Domestic IC […]

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Book Review: The Ethics of Technological Innovation

My review of the new book The Ethics of Invention: Technology and the Human Future by Sheila Jasanoff appeared in this week’s Nature magazine. It begins: “Technological innovation in fields from genetic engineering to cyberwarfare is accelerating at a breakneck pace, but ethical deliberation over its implications has lagged behind. Thus argues Sheila Jasanoff — […]

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Defense Support of Civil Authorities: Overview

The conditions under which U.S. military capabilities can be brought to bear in domestic civilian affairs are explained in a new three–volume manual published last week by the Department of Defense. As a rule, DoD intervention comes “in response to a request for assistance from civil authorities for domestic emergencies, law enforcement agency support, and […]

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Natural Gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, & More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service in the last few days include the following. Natural Gas Discoveries in the Eastern Mediterranean, August 15, 2016 Al Qaeda and U.S. Policy: Middle East and Africa, updated August 11, 2016 Department of Defense Contractor and Troop Levels in Iraq and Afghanistan: 2007-2016, updated August 15, […]

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Report Details DoD Chem/Bio Defense Programs

Last year the Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug to be used as a countermeasure against Yersinia pestis, the biological agent that causes bubonic plague. The drug was developed with funding from the Department of Defense Chemical and Biological Defense Program (CBDP). DoD described its research and development activities on defense against chemical and […]

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Slack in the Labor Market, and More from CRS

Reports of the Congressional Research Service are predicated on the belief that readers in Congress or elsewhere care about the minutia of government policy. But if this was ever true, is it still the case today? The members of CRS’s presumed target audience have not yet made up their minds about any number of issues, […]

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Prosecuting Offenses Against Congress, and More from CRS

If someone lied to Congress under oath, how would criminal prosecution of such an offense be initiated? The suggestion by some Republican members of Congress that Hillary Clinton may have perjured herself in testimony before Congress provided an occasion for the Congressional Research Service to review the relevant law. “The constitutional separation of powers significantly […]

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Olympic Safety and Security, and More from CRS

Issues affecting the safety and security of athletes and spectators at the 2016 Olympic Games, which begins August 5 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were reviewed in a new report from the Congressional Research Service. Concerns addressed in the CRS report include the Zika virus outbreak, domestic crime, the threat of terrorism, environmental hazards, and […]

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Number of New Secrets in 2015 Near Historic Low

The production of new national security secrets dropped precipitously in the last five years and remained at historically low levels last year, according to a new annual report released today by the Information Security Oversight Office. There were 53,425 new secrets (“original classification decisions”) created by executive branch agencies in FY 2015. Though this represents […]

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A Burst of New Presidential Directives

On July 26, President Obama issued Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) 41 on United States Cyber Incident Coordination. Aside from the intrinsic interest of this document, it signifies an unexplained burst in the production of Presidential Policy Directives since the public release of PPD 30 in June 2015. Instead of the previous average of around 5 […]

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