SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2006, Issue No. 37
March 23, 2006

Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

Support Secrecy News: http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp

SOME FISA COURT NEWS

Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. of the Southern Northern District of New York was identified last week as a member of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which was established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to provide judicial authorization for intelligence search and surveillance activities within the United States.

Although Judge Scullin was appointed to the FISA Court in 2004, his name had not previously appeared in news stories about the Court or in published lists of its current membership, such as this one (now updated):

Judge Scullin, who recently retired from the District Court in New York (but not from the FISA Court), acknowledged his membership in the secretive surveillance court in interviews with the Syracuse Post-Standard (March 17) and the Albany Times Union (March 14).

Another new FISA Court judge has presumably been appointed by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts to replace Judge James Robertson, who resigned from the FISA Court in December 2005 in what was reported to be an expression of protest against the President's warrantless surveillance program, which circumvented the FISA Court.

But officials at the Justice Department Office of Intelligence Policy and Review said they would not disclose the identity of the latest appointment to the FISA Court except in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Such a request was duly filed.

A copy of the updated FISA Court Rules of Procedure, effective February 17, 2006, is available here:


SOME RESOURCES

The website freedominfo.org, sponsored by the National Security Archive, has produced a splendid new catalog of freedom of information laws in some 60 countries around the world, with links to underlying statutes and related background information (flagged by BeSpacific.com). See:

http://www.freedominfo.org/

"For the first time, the National Archives and Records Administration has made available online more than 400,000 State Department telegrams and other records for 1973 and 1974," according to a NARA news release yesterday. See:

Secrecy News has been named "resource of the week" (thanks) by ResourceShelf.com, which provides a daily survey of news, documents and tools for information professionals. See:


SOME MORE CRS REPORTS

Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), the most outspoken opponent of proposals to permit direct public access to Congressional Research Service reports, recently lost his chairmanship of the House Administration Committee in the initial fallout of the unfolding corruption scandals in Congress.

But it is unclear whether his sensible successor, Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-CA) (R-Mich.), will be any more amenable to online public access to CRS products. It may be that this inevitable step will have to await the election of a whole new Congress that actually values public access to government information.

In the meantime, members of the public can get their CRS fix from "unauthorized" sources.

In addition to the FAS archive of CRS reports, there are complementary collections at the State Department's Foreign Press Center and at CDT's OpenCRS.com, among others.

Here are some notable new or recently updated CRS reports from FAS that are not available from those other sites.

"Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress," updated February 2, 2006:

"National Emergency Powers," updated February 10, 2006:

"Jordan: U.S. Relations and Bilateral Issues," updated March 14, 2006:

"Global Climate Change: Federal Research on Possible Human Health Effects," updated February 10, 2006:

"'Bunker Busters': Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Issues, FY2005-FY 2007," updated February 21, 2006:

"The Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment," updated March 15, 2006:

"Military Retirement: Major Legislative Issues," updated March 14, 2006:

"Navy Attack Submarine Force-Level Goal and Procurement Rate: Background and Issues for Congress," updated January 18, 2006:

"Navy DD(X), CG(X) and LCS Ship Acquisition Programs: Oversight Issues and Options for Congress," updated March 7, 2006:

"Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq: Effects and Countermeasures," February 10, 2006:

******************************

Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

The Secrecy News blog is at:
      http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, send an email message to [email protected] with "subscribe" (without quotes) in the body of the message.

To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a blank email message to [email protected].

OR email your request to [email protected]

Secrecy News is archived at:
      http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/index.html

SUPPORT Secrecy News with a donation here:
      http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp