Knowing the Enemy: DoD Identity Activities

The Department of Defense is devoting increased attention to what it calls “identity activities,” which seek to identify individuals who may pose a threat on or off the battlefield. “Identity activities are a collection of functions and actions that appropriately recognize and differentiate one person or persona from another person or persona to support decision […]

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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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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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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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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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Dozens of Leak Referrals Sent to DoJ Each Year

Updated below Updated again below The Department of Justice said last week that it received dozens of “crimes reports” concerning unauthorized disclosures of classified information each year for most of the past several years, although only 18 such referrals were made in 2015. In a July 20 response to a Freedom of Information Act request, […]

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Seeking Verifiable Destruction of Nuclear Warheads

A longstanding conundrum surrounding efforts to negotiate reductions in nuclear arsenals is how to verify the physical destruction of nuclear warheads to the satisfaction of an opposing party without disclosing classified weapons design information. Now some potential new solutions to this challenge are emerging. Based on tests that were conducted by the Atomic Energy Commission […]

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Improved Coordination of HUMINT Collection Sought

The Director of National Intelligence issued — and last week published — a pair of Intelligence Community Directives (here and here) that aim to improve the coordination of human intelligence collection for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes. The directives are intended “to ensure the deconfliction, coordination, and integration of intelligence activities,” including liaison with foreign […]

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