FAS Roundup: December 8, 2014

From the Blogs

Invention Secrecy Orders Reach a 20 Year High: Under the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951, secrecy orders may be imposed whenever, in the judgment of an executive branch agency, the disclosure of a patent application would be “detrimental to the national security.” At the end of FY14, there were 5, 520 invention secrecy orders in effect, the highest number since 1994. But, it is unclear whether this reflects growing innovation in sensitive technology areas, or a more restrictive approach to disclosure by government agencies.

New Releases from the National Declassification Center: The National Declassification Center at the National Archives announced the availability of 240 sets of records that were recently declassified, including information on Cloud Gap Field Test Reports from 1962-1969. Cloud Gap was a government project that was created in the 1960s to establish the technical basis for new arms control measures.

FAS at Vienna Conference on Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons: This week, the Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons will be held in Vienna; this is the third in a set of series of conferences organized by a growing number of countries and organizations to discuss the risks posed by nuclear weapons to humanity. FAS’s Hans Kristensen, Director of the Nuclear Information Project, will give two presentations: the first on deterrence and nuclear war planning and the second on the state of world nuclear affairs.

NARA Backs Away from CIA Email Destruction Proposal: The National Archives and Records Administration told the Central Intelligence Agency that it was withholding approval of a CIA proposal to allow the destruction of the email records of all but 22 senior Agency officials. Based on a preliminary review of the CIA proposal, NARA had initially recommended approval of the plan, but critical comments that were submitted to NARA from FAS, public interest groups and government officials blocked the proposal in its current form.

IC Inspector General Oversees the Intelligence Community: The IC Inspector General has oversight responsibility both for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and for the Intelligence Community as a whole (but not for its individual member agencies). In addition to monitoring compliance with the law, the IC IG deals with a broad range of administrative, budgetary and personnel issues, several of which are described in a redacted report released last week.

US Military Casualty Statistics and More from CRS: Secrecy News has obtained recently released CRS reports on topics such as U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, economic sanctions on Iran, talks with Iran on an interim nuclear agreement and post-Taliban governance in Afghanistan. 

Screening of “Garwin: Witness to History”

On Thursday, December 11, 2014, FAS, Syracuse University’s SI Newhouse School of Public Communications and Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs will host a screening of the new documentary, “Garwin: Witness to History,” which explores the life and career of Dr. Richard Garwin.

The screening will be held at 7pm at SVA Theatre at 333 W. 23rd Street. After the screening, there will be a discussion with the filmmakers and Dr. Garwin.

Seating is limited; to RSVP email [email protected] or call 718-576-2563.

FAS in the News

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