Secrecy and Security News
Newer News: February 2014
- The Ghost Files by David J. Craig, Columbia Magazine, Winter 2013-2014. "US historians have long complained about gaps in the National Archives. Can big-data analysis show what kinds of information the government is keeping classified?"
- The Afghanistan Mess: Fed Report Says We'll Pay Up The Nose Long After Troops Return by James Warren, New York Daily News, January 30. "This report, like most CRS reports, is not reflexively publicized or placed on its website. You have to find the reports elsewhere, most notably on the website of the Federation of American Scientists, which looks high and low for them and provides a public service in posting them."
- Hackers, spies, threats and the US spies' budget by Tara McKelvey, BBC News, January 29. "America's senior spies have offered up to the public a frightening litany of the threats facing the US -- al-Qaeda, hackers, Russian militants, and Edward Snowden. But sceptics note that scaring senators is a good way intelligence agencies can keep up their budgets."
- Intelligence Agencies Won't Release Reports On Excessive Secrecy by Matt Sledge, Huffington Post, January 28. "A little more than three years ago, Congress passed a law ordering the nation's top intelligence agencies to review their classification procedures. Those reports on government secrecy are finished -- but they won't be released for public consumption just yet."
- DOJ-ODNI Statement on New Reporting Options for National Security Orders, news release, January 27. "Through these new reporting methods, communications providers will be permitted to disclose more information than ever before to their customers."
- DoJ Advises Firms They May Disclose Certain Data on Govt Requests for Information, letter from Deputy Attorney General Cole, January 27. "This letter memorializes the new and additional ways in which the government will permit your company to report data concerning requests for customer information."
- Political Review Hampers FOIA Process, Watchdogs Say by C.J. Ciaramella, Washington Free Beacon, January 27. "Government watchdog groups and reporters say political appointees have been given increased sway over Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in the Obama administration, slowing down the release of public records and introducing political pressure to the process."
- Panel Calls for More Spy Capability by Siobhan Gorman, Wall Street Journal, January 21. "An independent Defense Department advisory panel recommends stepped-up U.S. surveillance capabilities to track nuclear proliferation and points to the National Security Agency's counterterrorism programs as a model."
- U.S. spy agency's push for secrecy seen as another failing of Obama's transparency pledge by Marisa Taylor, McClatchy, January 15. "Intelligence officials are pushing to classify as secret certain information about lie detectors that they believe U.S. adversaries might use to harm national security, even though much of it has been available to the public for decades."
- Interview with Outgoing NSA Deputy Director John C. Inglis, National Public Radio transcript, January 10. "National Security Agency Deputy Director John C. "Chris" Inglis has spent most of his time recently defending the NSA from revelations by former contractor Edward Snowden. Snowden disclosed that the agency was gathering phone records of millions of Americans. Inglis retires Friday. Before stepping down, he talked to Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep about running a spy agency in a democracy."
- Obama Readies Revamp of NSA by Siobhan Gorman and Carol E. Lee, Wall Street Journal, January 9. "President Barack Obama is leaning toward extending broad privacy protections to non-U.S. citizens and is seriously considering restructuring the National Security Agency program that collects phone-call data of nearly all Americans, officials familiar with the process said on Thursday."
- Obama Moving Toward Changes in Nation's Spy Network by Anita Kumar and David Lightman, McClatchy Newspapers, January 9. "President Barack Obama appears to be on verge of making several changes to the nation's surveillance programs, including halting the government's storage of mass telephone records of millions of Americans, appointing a public advocate to appear before the nation's secret surveillance court and stopping spying on some foreign leaders, according to those familiar with the White House deliberations."
- Sen. Ron Wyden carefully stays out of debate about fate of NSA leaker Edward Snowden by Jeff Mapes, Oregonian, January 8. "Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden is studiously avoiding the growing debate about whether the U.S. government should go easy on Edward Snowden for his massive leaks of documents from the National Security Agency."
- U.S. Spies Feared Rise of Virtual Bin Laden, Report Reveals by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Mashable, January 8. "In 2008, when millions of netizens were flocking to the online worlds of Second Life and World of Warcraft, the U.S. intelligence brass was worried about a virtual, immortal version of Osama Bin Laden."
- Aaron Swartz and the cause of openness by John Wihbey, Boston Globe, January 8. "A powerful line of inquiry informed Swartz's thinking: What should be in the public domain, and what might properly remain closed or proprietary? These are not abstract issues: Access to knowledge empowers people in a very real sense -- and the lack of access disempowers them. Increasingly, the status of information becomes a question of equality, and a moral issue."
- Obama to meet with intel officials, lawmakers ahead of NSA report by Justin Sink, The Hill, January 7. "Separately, White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler is expected to meet with civil society groups at the White House on Thursday afternoon in a chat about technology, privacy protections and civil liberties, according to Politico."
- Who Exactly Gets Child Support? Beyond the Myths by James Warren, New York Daily News, January 6. "The Congressional Research Service is both admirable and odd; it's the respected research arm of Congress but one whose reports are not publicly disseminated."
- Michael Hayden, Ex-NSA Director, Says Clemency for Edward Snowden Is 'Outrageous' Idea by Eli Lake, The Daily Beast, January 2. "He predicted any efforts to grant Snowden clemency would be met with significant resistance from U.S. intelligence officials."
Older News: December 2013