Secrecy and Security News
Newer News: May 2014
- CIA keeps a tight grip on its own secrets by Stephen Braun, Associated Press, April 30. "The CIA does not give up its secrets easily. Under pressure from a Senate committee to declassify parts of a congressional report on harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists, the CIA is shadowed by its reluctance to open up about its operations and its past."
- Fact Sheet: Transparency in the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Stockpile, Department of State, April 29. "The United States is releasing newly declassified information on the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile to update the information released in May 2010.... As of September 2013, the U.S. stockpile of nuclear warheads consisted of 4,804 warheads."
- DC thinks it can silence a new Snowden, but the anti-leak hypocrisy is backfiring by Trevor Timm, The Guardian, April 26. "After Edward Snowden caught the US government with its pants down, you would think the keepers of this country's secrets might stand up for a little more transparency, not bend over backwards trying to control the message."
- Clapper's Media Crackdown: Gone Too Far? by Robert W. Merry, The National Interest, April 25. "The ramifications of the Clapper directive are worth pondering at a time when America's security establishment is taking on more and more global activities that the American people only dimly understand--and about which they seem more and more concerned. What kind of government seeks to maintain near-total control over the news that emanates from it?"
- Conversation With James Risen: Can Journalists Protect Their National Security Sources? by Dina Rasor, Truthout, April 23. "The New York Times reporter James Risen is in a waiting game with the Department of Justice and the Supreme Court, and the fate of a journalist's right to protect sources lies in the balance. Will his case be the watershed for journalists to have the right to protect their sources, or will he have to go to jail in the face of the courts ruling against him?"
- U.S. spy chief bans employees from talking to journalists by Ken Dilanian, Los Angeles Times, April 22. "A new policy bars employees of U.S. spy agencies from providing reporters with 'intelligence information,' even if it is unclassified, without first getting official permission."
- Intelligence Chief Issues Limits on Press Contacts by Charlie Savage, New York Times, April 21. "The Obama administration has barred officials at 17 agencies from speaking to journalists about unclassified intelligence-related topics without permission, according to a newly disclosed directive."
- U.S. Ordered to Release Memo in Awlaki Killing by Benjamin Weiser, New York Times, April 21. "A federal appeals panel in Manhattan ordered the release on Monday of key portions of a classified Justice Department memorandum that provided the legal justification for the targeted killing of a United States citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, who intelligence officials contend had joined Al Qaeda and died in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen."
- Spy Agencies Told to Plug Media Leaks by Siobhan Gorman, Wall Street Journal, April 21. "The top U.S. intelligence official has drawn up a new policy to crack down on media leaks, at a time when officials have vowed greater openness to restore public trust after a wave of disclosures about government surveillance."
- The top spook's stupid gag order by Jack Shafer, Reuters, April 21. "Directive 119 increases the insularity of the national security state, making the public less safe, not more."
- Clapper bans US intelligence employees from 'unauthorised' media contact by Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian, April 21. "Months after the Edward Snowden surveillance disclosures presented US intelligence with a more skeptical media landscape, the intelligence community's leader has instituted a new media policy: substantive contact with journalists without prior approval can be a firing offense."
- U.S. intelligence chief bars unauthorized contacts with reporters on all intel-related matters by Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy News, April 21. "Employees of U.S. intelligence agencies have been barred from discussing without authorization any intelligence-related matter -- even if it isn't classified -- with journalists, under a new directive issued by Director of National Security James Clapper."
- National Industrial Security Program: Interim Final Rule, Federal Register, April 9. "The rule provides guidance on the procedures used to ensure classified information will be properly safeguarded if a contractor has reported foreign ownership, control or influence (FOCI) information which DoD must evaluate, mitigate, or negate as appropriate."
- Sen. Feinstein Transmits SSCI Study of CIA Interrogation to President for Declassification, April 7. "I request that you declassify these documents, and that you do so quickly and with minimal redactions."
- Secret State Department Letter Warned: Don't Release CIA Torture Report by Josh Rogin, The Daily Beast, April 4. "While Joe Biden publicly called for releasing the Senate report on CIA interrogation, the State Department warned that revealing foreign 'black sites' could risk American lives."
- Book Review: Secrets and Leaks: The Dilemma of State Secrecy by Rahul Sagar reviewed by Steven Aftergood, Lawfare, April 4. "Leaks of classified information have probably never been as prominent and as influential in public discourse as they are today. So Rahul Sagar's book Secrets and Leaks is exquisitely timed to help readers to think through the conundrums of government secrecy in a democracy and to consider the role of unauthorized disclosures."
- Anti-terror surveillance law used in Iowa grain spy probe by Jeff Reinitz, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, April 4. "Investigators used a law designed to eavesdrop on foreign spies and terrorists when they probed Chinese seed company officials suspected of stealing trademark hybrid corn from Iowa and Missouri fields, including one near Dysart."
- Intelligence Committee Votes to Declassify Portions of CIA Study, news release, April 3. "The purpose of this review was to uncover the facts behind this secret program, and the results were shocking. The report exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation. It chronicles a stain on our history that must never again be allowed to happen."
- Senate to vote to declassify torture report by Adam Serwer, MSNBC, April 3. "The Senate Intelligence Committee is set to vote Thursday on declassifying parts of a controversial investigation into Bush-era torture that has led to a historic clash between the committee and the Central Intelligence Agency."
- Senate's feud with CIA over torture report: sound and fury but few answers by Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian, April 2. "As a Senate committee moves to declassify a landmark report about the Central Intelligence Agency's descent into torture, among the only certainties is that the public won't see the vast majority of it."
- Department of Defense Personnel Security Program (PSP): Final Rule, Federal Register, April 1. "This rule establishes policy and assigns responsibilities related to the operation of the DoD Personnel Security Program, including investigative and adjudicative policy for determining eligibility to hold a national security position."
Older News: March 2014