FAS Roundup: March 8, 2016

By March 8, 2016

FAS Board Member Martin Hellman Co-Wins Turing Award

On Tuesday, March 1, the Association for Computing Machinery announced that Martin Hellman and Whitfield Diffie have won this year’s Turing Award for their pioneering work in public-key cryptography and digital signatures, the foundation for most security protocols on the internet today. The award is frequently described as “the Nobel Prize for the computing world.” Dr. Hellman describes the award in further detail and how he is going to use his share of the prize money to continue pursuing work related to the nuclear threat on his blog, found here.

From the Blogs

FAS Nuclear Notebook Published: US Nuclear Forces, 2015: The latest issue provides a new overview of the status and plans for US nuclear forces and updates estimate of the number of nuclear weapons in the stockpile and deployed force.

New B-21 Bomber or B-2 Mod 1?: The US Air Force has published the first official image of the next-generation bomber, designated as the B-21, formerly known as LRS-B (Long Range Strike Bomber). But just how different is the “new” B-21 bomber? Read Kristensen’s analysis to find out more.

ODNI Will Revise Declassification Fee Policy: In response to criticism of the hefty fees that could be charged to public requesters in its new Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) rule, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has agreed to modify the rule. The revised rule will adopt the more flexible and forgiving approach used in ODNI’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) program.

Bill Would Authorize Release of CRS Reports: A bill to make Congressional Research Service reports available to the public through authorized rather than unauthorized channels was introduced in Congress on March 4, 2016. While the support of congressional sponsors of both parties is promising, the proposal to provide authorized public access to non-confidential CRS publications is not assured of passage.

ODNI Erects Cost Barrier to Mandatory Declassification: Anyone who submits a mandatory declassification review request to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence seeking release of classified records “shall be responsible for paying all fees” resulting from the request, according to a new ODNI regulation. And those fees are considerable; a search for a requested document costs anywhere from $20-$72 per hour, while document review runs $40-$72 per hour.

An Eight-Member Supreme Court, and More from CRS: A new report from the Congressional Research Service examines the implications of having only eight members on the Supreme Court following Justice Scalia’s death.

It’s a Plane: Visual Aircraft Recognition: The U.S. Army yesterday issued an updated manual to assist soldiers in identifying aircraft on the battlefield so as to determine whether they are friendly, hostile or something else. The task is easier said than done, however, even for an experienced observer.

FAS in the News

Categories: FAS Roundup