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Secrecy and Security News
- NSA Moves to Defuse Echelon Controversy by Dan Verton, Federal Computer Week, February 29. "The controversy reflects poorly on Congressional oversight of intelligence, according to the Federation of American Scientists. Questions about Echelon have to be raised on '60 Minutes' because they are not publicly addressed in Congress."
- Europeans Irked Over Orbital Snooping by Alex Canizares, Space.Com, February 28. "At bottom of all this is a question of oversight.... Congress could and should do a much better job."
- Letter to NSA on Intelligence Oversight, from Rep. Bob Barr, February 28. "I would ask the NSA to join our efforts to meaningfully and objectively review the effectiveness of existing law and regulation at protecting the privacy rights of Americans both now and in the future."
- NSA Defends Eavesdropping Policy, by Alice Ann Love, Associated Press, February 27. "Reacting to a spate of charges, a low-profile U.S. government spy agency is defending to Congress controversial information-gathering that allegedly includes eavesdropping on ordinary Americans."
- National Security Agency Letter to Members of Congress, from Kenneth A. Heath, Chief of Staff, NSA Legislative Affairs Office, February 24. "Recently, many allegations have surfaced about activities conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). We anticipate a continuation, if not an increase, in these allegations for the foreseeable future."
- Public Advocates Enter Fray Over FOIA by Drew Clark, Government Executive Daily Briefing, February 25. "Public interest advocates are gearing up to fight a legislative proposal that would limit the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in an effort to protect computer networks from hackers."
- Nazi War Criminal Records Interagency Working Group Appoints Panel of Experts, National Archives press release, February 24. "To ensure that records are being identified, declassified and released, the IWG has appointed a panel consisting of university professors, historians and experts on Nazi Germany."
- Improper Handling of Classified Information by John M. Deutch, CIA Inspector General Report of Investigation, February 18.
- State Department Comments on "Echelon", from the daily press briefing, February 23. "I can say that the National Security Agency is not authorized to provide intelligence information to private firms. That agency acts in strict accordance with American law."
- State Department Comments on Chile Declassification Effort, from the daily press briefing, February 22. "We certainly have tried ... to be as open as possible in the declassification of documents from this period."
- CIA to young job applicants: Come spy with me CNN.com, February 21. "The CIA is pitching the romance of intelligence, but such appeals are misleading..."
- FAS Comments on Proposed Rule on Declassification at the National Archives, letter from Steven Aftergood, February 17. "I believe the proposed rule may be seriously defective because it fails to take into account the outstanding feature of Executive Order 12958, namely its 'automatic declassification' provisions."
- Proposed Rule on Declassification at the National Archives, Federal Register, February 17. "The proposed rule will affect members of the public who file mandatory review requests and Federal agencies."
- More Inadvertent Releases of Restricted Data, Department of Energy Report to Congress. "As a result of DOE's audits of approximately 52 million pages of publicly available records, the Department discovered 25 documents which were inadvertently released."
- Sloppy Secrecy Washington Post (editorial), February 13. "This is precisely the kind of misplaced reaction to security failures that produces overclassification and secrecy run amok."
- El Sonoro Rugir, La Jornada (Mexico), February 13 (in Spanish; see CIA news towards bottom of the page). "La CIA no revela cuántas personas trabajan en su mundo secreto ni las dimensiones de su presupuesto, pero expertos calculan que...."
- Energy Department Issues Final Paducah Safety and Health Investigation Report, DOE press release, February 10. "The Paducah site operated in a climate of secrecy, with a strong sense of national need, and a lack of understanding of a number of environment, safety and health hazards and risks."
- Classified Material: Handle With Care, letter to the editor, New York Times, February 7. "You say 'any mishandling of classified national security information is a serious matter'. This would be true only if all classified information posed a potential national security threat."
- State Department Guidance on "Sensitive But Unclassified", telegram to all diplomatic and consular posts from SECSTATE WASHDC, February 2. "SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED IS NOT A CLASSIFICATION LEVEL FOR NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION, BUT IS USED WHEN IT'S NECESSARY TO PROVIDE A DEGREE OF PROTECTION FROM UNAUTHORIZED DISCLOSURE FOR UNCLASSIFIED INFORMATION."
- Organization of American Historians Critiques the Public Interest Declassification Act (PIDA), letter to Senator Daniel P. Moynihan, January 28. "The OAH believes (the PIDA) is inadequate and in many ways detrimental to the cause of historical inquiry and minimizing government secrecy. We urge you to withdraw the bill before it is considered at congressional hearings in the near future."
- White House Letter on Groom Lake, letter to Congress, January 31. "Information concerning activities at the operating location near Groom Lake has been properly determined to be classified, and its disclosure would be harmful to national security."
- Back Channels: The Intelligence Community (excerpt) by Vernon Loeb, Washington Post, February 1. A new law penalizes disclosure of 'sensitive information' by DOE contractors. "There's only one problem: There's no such thing as 'sensitive information' under the Atomic Energy Act"
- Congress Creates Conundrum: What's 'Sensitive'? by Katy Saldarini, Government Executive, February 1. "In its rush to straighten out security problems at Energy Department nuclear labs last year, Congress ended up creating more confusion."
- Japanese Imperial Army Disclosure Act (HR 3561), introduced by Reps. Bilbray and Lipinski, February 1. "To require disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act regarding certain persons and records of the Japanese Imperial Army..."
- Letter from Prof. Anna K. Nelson on the Public Interest Declassification Act, to Mark Bradley of the Office of Senator Daniel P. Moynihan, January 6. "I frankly do not believe that the Act can achieve its goal of rapidly declassifying records to satisfy public interest."
Older News: January 2000
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