Newer News: September 2013
August 2013 Intelligence News
- New Leaked Document Outlines U.S. Spending on Intelligence Agencies by Scott Shane, New York Times, August 29. "The most detailed public disclosure of American intelligence spending in history shows a surprisingly dominant role for the Central Intelligence Agency, a growing emphasis on both defensive and offensive cyberoperations, and significant gaps in knowledge about targeted countries despite the sharp increase in spending after the 2001 terrorist attacks."
- Leaked Documents Reveal Budget Breakdown Between CIA, NSA by Tom Gjelten, NPR All Things Considered, August 29. "There are more secrets out today, this time about how U.S. intelligence agencies spend their money. The revelations are from documents leaked by Edward Snowden and published by The Washington Post. One headline: The CIA Is Doing Better Than the NSA."
- U.S. spy network's successes, failures and objectives detailed in 'black budget' summary by Barton Gellman and Greg Miller, Washington Post, August 29. "The $52.6 billion 'black budget' for fiscal 2013, obtained by The Washington Post from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, maps a bureaucratic and operational landscape that has never been subject to public scrutiny."
- Report: Secret Budget Cited 4,000 NSA Leaks by Stephen Braun, Associated Press, August 29. "Secret intelligence budget files provided by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden show that the surveillance agency warned in 2012 that it planned to investigate up to 4,000 reports of possible internal security breaches, according to a new disclosure published Thursday."
- DNI Clapper Directs Annual Release of Information Related to Orders Issued to Telecom Providers Under National Security Authorities, news release, August 29. "The DNI has determined, with the concurrence of the IC, that going forward the IC will publicly release, on an annual basis, aggregate information concerning compulsory legal process under certain national security authorities."
- Hidden Hands: U.S. Spy Court Judges by Kristen Hinman, Businessweek, August 29. "The proceedings of the federal court that rules on the government's requests to eavesdrop on foreign terrorists take place in total secrecy in a windowless room in Washington. Established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, the court hears one side of the case only--the government's."
- Experts Say Release of Secret Surveillance Court Ruling Underscores Overclassification by Brad Friedman, The Brad Blog, August 26. "Some redactions in the document, they say, appear solely to protect government, not national security..."
- NSA having flashbacks to Watergate era by Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times, August 25. "The National Security Agency is facing its worst crisis since the domestic spying scandals four decades ago led to the first formal oversight and overhaul of U.S. intelligence operations."
- PCLOB Urges Update of Minimization Procedures, letter to AG/DNI, August 22. "The Board believes that key policies and procedures addressing privacy and civil liberties should be kept up to date to take into account new developments including technological advancements."
- DNI-NSA Response to Wall Street Journal Story on Section 702 Collection, August 21. "The NSA does not sift through and have unfettered access to 75% of the United States' online communications."
- DNI Clapper Announces Declassification of Section 702 Surveillance Documents, August 21. "The documents released today are a testament to the government's strong commitment to detecting, correcting, and reporting mistakes, and to continually improving its oversight and compliance processes."
- Manning Sentenced to 35 Years for a Pivotal Leak of U.S. Files by Charlie Savage and Emmarie Huetteman, New York Times, August 21. "A military judge sentenced Pfc. Bradley Manning on Wednesday to 35 years in prison for providing more than 700,000 government files to WikiLeaks, a gigantic leak that lifted the veil on American military and diplomatic activities around the world."
- Bradley Manning and leaks to news media: Is US pursuit too hot? by Mark Clayton, Christian Science Monitor, August 21. "Bradley Manning's mass disclosures to WikiLeaks 'triggered an intense reaction' inside the Obama administration to squelch future leaks to journalists -- and to hunt down leakers, experts say. That reaction, in turn, is stirring debate about the right balance between secrecy and transparency."
- NSA press briefing on compliance with John DeLong, August 16. "We are very much looking forward to addressing a lot of the inaccuracies that are out there in today's reporting about compliance in NSA and our compliance program here today."
- Presidential Memorandum Directing a Review of Signals Intelligence Collection, Federal Register, August 15. "I am directing you to establish a Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies (Review Group)."
- A Quantum Leap for the Government in Mining Twitter Feeds by Betsy Morais, The New Yorker, August 15. "The idea was for the researchers to comb through any publicly available data that they could--tweets, property information, business transactions--which do not require a warrant to collect or analyze."
- Intelligence committee urged to explain if they withheld crucial NSA document by Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian, August 14. "The leadership of the House intelligence committee is under growing pressure to explain whether it withheld surveillance information from members of Congress before a key vote to renew the Patriot Act."
- Senate intelligence panel could seek to declassify documents; it just doesn't by Ali Watkins, McClatchy Newspapers, August 12. "The resolution lays out a process by which a member of the Intelligence Committee may seek the declassification of information that he or she thinks is of public interest, even if the executive branch labels the material top secret."
- DNI Clapper Announces Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, news release, August 12. "At the direction of the President, I am establishing the Director of National Intelligence Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies to examine our global
signals-intelligence collection and surveillance capability."
- Reviewing Our Global Signals Intelligence Collection and Communications Technologies, presidential memorandum for the Director of National Intelligence, August 12. "The Review Group will assess whether, in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United States employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust."
- Obama's NSA plans bring skepticism by Josh Gerstein, Politico, August 9. "President Barack Obama jumped into the surveillance debate Friday, promising a new slate of reforms, oversight and greater transparency for the snooping efforts revealed by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. The folks talking about these issues all along responded with a resounding 'meh'."
- President's Remarks on Intelligence Surveillance Policy, press conference, August 9. "Today, I'd like to discuss four specific steps -- not all inclusive, but some specific steps that we're going to be taking very shortly to move the debate forward."
- Background on the President's Statement on Reforms to NSA Programs, White House news release, August 9. "President Obama believes that there should be increased transparency and reforms in our intelligence programs in order to give the public confidence that these programs have strong oversight and clear protections against abuse. That is what he has pursued as President, and today he is announcing several initiatives that will move that effort forward."
- The DOJ's public information arm isn't sure whether it's been collecting our phone data or not, Baltimore Sun, August 9. "This week, The Baltimore Sun received a response to its FOIA query for subpoena requests against its reporters' phone records...The response, given more than a month after the DOJ's initial, self-assigned deadline, indicates that such records are distributed across many offices and systems, each of which must be FOIA'd individually. The response further stated that the newspaper's best hope of receiving documents is to contact another office within the justice department."
- Socom experiment: Can Twitter stop terror? by Howard Altman, Tampa Tribune, August 8. "U.S. Special Operations Command has apparently found that Twitter and other social media sites, as well as publicly available data collections, can help disrupt terrorist finance networks."
- Mining social media: The new way of life by Walter Pincus, Washington Post, August 8. "Many people love the convenience of the Internet and cellphones and ever-multiplying social-media applications. What many don't always focus on, however, is how easily outsiders can invade their lives."
- Military Illegally Aided ICE in Money Laundering Case, Civil Rights Lawyer Says by Bob Brewin, NextGov, August 7. "The military's Special Operations Command and an agency of the Homeland Security Department engaged in an investigation of a $2.5 billion money laundering scheme that violated long-standing policies that preclude military forces from participating in law enforcement activities, a top civil liberties lawyer told Nextgov."
- QUANTUM LEAP: The US Special Ops Project to Exploit Your Twitter Account by Dana Liebelson, Mother Jones, August 7. "Quantum Leap is the name the US Special Operations Command's DC-area branch gave to an unusual project investigating how to combat crime by exploiting social media."
- Unhappy With U.S. Foreign Policy? Pentagon Says You Might Be A 'High Threat' by Matt Sledge, Huffington Post, August 7. "Watch out for 'Hema.' A security training test created by a Defense Department agency warns federal workers that they should consider the hypothetical Indian-American woman a 'high threat' because she frequently visits family abroad, has money troubles and 'speaks openly of unhappiness with U.S. foreign policy'."
- Echoes From a Past Leak Probe by Jess Bravin, Wall Street Journal, August 7. "Newly released documents provide a road map of how the government tried to mount a no-holds-barred legal attack against journalists suspected of leaking military secrets. But the memos weren't about the current-day Bradley Manning case. They came after a disclosure 71 years ago about World War II's Battle of Midway and show the U.S. has long wrestled with how to square national security and press freedom."
- Special Ops Mined Social Media for Data to Advance Mission by Bob Brewin, NextGov, August 6. "The Special Operations Command last August began using data mining tools to dive deep into social media to track money laundering, Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists reported today on his blog Secrecy News."
- Al-Qaeda might attack Guantanamo, claims US by Jason Leopold, Al Jazeera, August 6. "Government lawyers seemingly unknowingly release information they say should remain secret."
- A Washington Riddle: What Is 'Top Secret'? by David E. Sanger, New York Times, August 4. "There are certainly some secrets the government needs to protect, but many of the most important clues about revolutions, nuclear transfers and new military sites can be found online, in open chat rooms and commercial satellite photos."
- US secrets--and lies--unravel in NSA leaks by Adam Serwer, MSNBC, August 4. "Because of evasions by government officials who tried to keep the nature of these surveillance programs secret, the public would never have known about the breadth of government spying had it not been for Snowden's leaks, which have dramatically shifted the politics of surveillance in the U.S. Congress."
- Too many classified papers at Pentagon? Time for a secrecy audit by Anna Mulrine, Christian Science Monitor, August 2. "Government auditors announced this week that they will review how the Pentagon decides if documents should be kept secret, with an eye toward determining whether the Department of Defense engages in 'classification inflation'."
- Not every leak is tantamount to treason, Washington Post (editorial), August 2. "The Manning verdict casts light once again on the fact that far too much information is classified."
- Will rising tide of opposition force change in NSA tactics? by Kevin Johnson and David Jackson, USA Today, August 2. "In the weeks since Edward Snowden's unauthorized disclosures about some of the government's most sensitive surveillance programs, the former National Security Agency contractor has found an unlikely ally: Congress."
- Spies are spooked by the rise of hackers in a wired world, fear no secret is safe by Shaun Waterman, Washington Times, August 1. "In an interview, Mr. Hayden discussed how developing technology, changing cultural norms and the ever-increasing political demand for transparency are making it harder for U.S. agencies to recruit spies and run secret operations."
Older News: July 2013
Maintained by Steven Aftergood
Updated September 3, 2013