Secrecy and Security News
Newer News: January 2014
- Obama's albatross: Transparency by Josh Gerstein, Politico, December 24. "Five years into his presidency, Barack Obama might have been reaping kudos for ushering in a new era of transparency in government. Instead, he's under fire for his administration's secrecy."
- You'll Never Guess Where This FBI Agent Left a Secret Interrogation Manual by Nick Baumann, Mother Jones, December 20. "In a lapse that national security experts call baffling, a high-ranking FBI agent filed a sensitive internal manual detailing the bureau's secret interrogation procedures with the Library of Congress, where anyone with a library card can read it."
- NRO aligns network operations with shared IT strategy by Nicole Blake Johnson, Federal Times, December 16. "The National Reconnaissance Office is implementing a five-year strategy aimed at standardizing network operations across the intelligence community....The heavily redacted document is dated April 2013, but it was released publicly only this month by the Federation of American Scientists, which obtained it through a Freedom of Information Act request."
- Secrecy reforms expected, experts say by Sean Reilly, Federal Times, December 14. "The federal government's methods for keeping secrets are coming under unprecedented scrutiny."
- Mapping the Blind Spots: Developer Unearths Secret U.S. Military Bases by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Mashable, December 13. "If you look closely enough on Google or Bing Maps, some places are blanked out, hidden from public view. Many of those places disguise secret or sensitive American military facilities."
- On the Very Idea of Secret Laws: Transparency and Publicity in Deliberative Democracy, Keynote Address with National Security Agency Deputy Director John C. "Chris" Inglis, IC on the Record, December 9.
- Pentagon outlines Defense Warning Network by Dan Verton, FedScoop, December 9. "The Defense Department last week issued its first detailed directive outlining the structure and functions of a new Defense Warning Network aimed at providing senior military leaders with advance notification of potential threats to the U.S. and its interests around the world."
- New White House open government plan looks good on paper, say transparency advocates by David Perera, FierceGovernmentIT, December 9. "The final version of a new White House open government action plan is substantially expanded from a recently circulated preliminary draft -- although many of the actions called for in the plan aren't new initiatives."
- Intelligence contractors donate millions to intelligence watchdogs in Congress by Alexander Cohen and R. Jeffrey Smith, Center for Public Integrity, December 9. "Those on Capitol Hill who approve and oversee military intelligence spending benefit from a stream of industry campaign funding."
- ODNI official: Transparency will be slow, difficult by Zach Rausnitz, FierceGovernmentIT, December 6. "Transparency will require a shift in culture, resources, and skill sets that won't come naturally or quickly, Joel said, asking for patience from the public."
- IG finds some not-so-intelligent conduct in the intelligence community by Walter Pincus, Washington Post, December 5. "Adding to all its other problems, the intelligence community's inspector general, I. Charles McCullough III, has discovered a rash of fraud cases involving employees and contractors within the 16 agencies and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)."
- Big Transparency for the NSA: Perspectives on Spying and Privacy, conference at Brown University, December 4. "This event will examine the continuing explosive revelations about the American intelligence community's global operations and the resulting crisis in public trust and confidence. It will also explore the equally historic, if less discussed, shift toward transparency that the government's defense of these operations has involved."
- Titillating Tidbits from the Inspector General's Report on the Intelligence Community by Denver Nicks, Time Swampland, December 3. "In the parts that aren't blacked out, the latest report reveals some interesting forms of misbehavior."
- US Shutting Down a Key News Source by Elizabeth Murray, Consortium News, December 3. "WNC is a valuable trove of U.S. government-sponsored media translations and analyses that has informed the work of American scholars, journalists, writers and historians for the past six decades. It is one of the few offices in the U.S. intelligence community that regularly shares information with the people, rather than simply extracting metadata about them." (Secrecy News story)
- Declassification Prioritization by Archivist of the United States David Ferriero, December 2. "The Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) recently hosted an open meeting to discuss its recommendations to the President on Transforming the Security Classification System, focusing on declassification prioritization."
- Privacy board springs to life after NSA revelations by Shaun Waterman, Washington Times, December 1. "A small federal panel that oversees privacy issues has been catapulted from a bureaucratic backwater into the political maelstrom roiled by leaks about the National Security Agency's domestic snooping. For most of the nine years since President George W. Bush signed the legislation creating it, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board did not have any members, let alone an office or staff."
Older News: November 2013