DoD Stresses Importance of Public Affairs

A newly updated Department of Defense publication affirms the importance of public outreach, not simply as a gesture towards democratic governance, but also as an instrument of operational utility. “The US military has an obligation to communicate with its members and the US public, and it is in the national interest to communicate with international […]

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Visa Waiver Program, and More from CRS

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows foreign nationals from 38 countries to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. The travelers must still present a valid passport and meet certain other requirements. There were 20 million visitors who entered the United States under this program in FY 2013. […]

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What to Expect from Paris Climate Talks, and More from CRS

The possible outcomes of the ongoing Paris climate change conference, and the challenges remaining to be overcome, are considered in a new report from the Congressional Research Service. See International Climate Change Negotiations: What to Expect in Paris, December 2015, November 27, 2015. The shifting numbers of U.S. troops and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan […]

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DoD Gets Go-Ahead to Counter Islamic State Messaging

There are “substantial gaps” in the ability of the Department of Defense to counter Islamic State propaganda and messaging, the Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) informed Congress earlier this year. But now Congress has moved to narrow some of those gaps. Until recently, the Pentagon’s authority to act in this area had been […]

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Support Secrecy News

If you find Secrecy News useful or interesting, please consider supporting our work with a financial contribution to the Federation of American Scientists. Last month the House Committee on Homeland Security published a report of its task force on combating terrorist and foreign fighter travel. In a footnote, the Committee cited a related report from […]

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Islamic State: Frequently Asked Questions, & More from CRS

New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that were issued last week — but withheld from public release — include the following. The Islamic State — Frequently Asked Questions: Threats, Global Implications, and U.S. Policy Responses, November 19, 2015 The “Islamic State” and U.S. Policy, updated November 18, 2015 (and still using the […]

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Tools for Deterring Terrorist Travel (CRS)

A new report issued by the Congressional Research Service describes the various procedures that the U.S. government can use “to prevent individuals from traveling to, from, or within the United States to commit acts of terrorism.” See Legal Tools to Deter Travel by Suspected Terrorists: A Brief Primer, CRS Legal Sidebar, November 16, 2015. In […]

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DNI Directive on Controlled Access Programs

The Director of National Intelligence last month issued a new directive on Controlled Access Programs (CAPs). CAPs are the Intelligence Community equivalent of what are otherwise called Special Access Programs (SAPs). These are classified programs that involve access restrictions above and beyond ordinary classification controls. CAPs include compartmented intelligence programs, but are not limited to […]

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Patents Awarded to Formerly Secret Inventions

Last year, 95 secrecy orders barring disclosure of inventions under the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951 were imposed on new patent applications while 36 prior secrecy orders were rescinded. Three of the newly releasable inventions have recently received patents, decades after the inventors filed their applications. The three new patents were identified by the U.S. […]

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