Military Operations Face Growing Transparency

Soldiers and Marines fighting in populated urban environments have to assume that their actions are being closely monitored by the public, according to new military doctrine published last week. They need to have “an expectation of observation.” Increased transparency surrounding military operations in populated areas must be anticipated and factored into operational plans, the new […]

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Foreign Agents Registration Act, and More from CRS

“In the wake of the 2016 election, concerns have been raised with respect to the legal regime governing foreign influence in domestic politics,” a new report from the Congressional Research Service notes. “The central law concerning the activities of the agents of foreign entities acting in the United States is the Foreign Agents Registration Act […]

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Negotiating with North Korea: History and Options

The alternative to military conflict with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program is to advance some kind of negotiated settlement. But what would that be? And how could it be achieved? A new report from the Congressional Research Service summarizes the limited successes of past nuclear negotiations between the US and North Korea, including lessons learned. […]

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US Air Force Updates Policy on Special Access Programs

The US Air Force last month issued updated policy guidance on its “special access programs” (SAPs). Those are classified programs of exceptional sensitivity requiring safeguards and access restrictions beyond those of other categories of classified information. See Air Force Policy Directive 16-7, Special Access Programs, 21 November 2017. The new Air Force policy makes provisions for internal oversight of […]

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How a Government Shutdown Works, and More from CRS

Short-term funding of the government is currently set to expire on December 8. If funding is not extended by Congress, then most government operations would have to cease. The processes and procedures by which such a shutdown would be executed, as well as its broader implications, were described in a newly updated report from the […]

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Net Neutrality Revisited, and More from CRS

The principle of “net neutrality,” which requires telecommunications companies to provide equal, non-discriminatory access to the Internet, is likely to be weakened next month when the Federal Communications Commission takes up a proposal to modify Obama-era regulations on net neutrality. The Congressional Research Service produced a newly updated report on the subject, suggesting that congressional […]

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Was Obama Administration the Most Transparent or the Least?

“After early promises to be the most transparent administration in history, the Obama administration turned out to be one of the most secretive,” wrote Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan last year. Speaking at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center last month, former ACLU litigator Jameel Jaffer didn’t go quite that far. He acknowledged that Obama had taken […]

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Contracting Adversary Aircraft, and More from CRS

The US Air Force and Navy might choose to train their fighter pilots in simulations using enemy aircraft that are flown by contractors, the Congressional Research Service said in a new brief. “Particularly in the case of the Air Force, which has increasingly publicized a shortage of pilots, using contractors to provide adversary air may […]

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Cybersecurity Resources, and More from CRS

A compilation of online documents and databases related to cybersecurity is presented by the Congressional Research Service in Cybersecurity: Cybercrime and National Security Authoritative Reports and Resources, November 14, 2017. Other new and updated publications from CRS include the following. A Primer on U.S. Immigration Policy, November 14, 2017 Defense Primer: Department of Defense Maintenance […]

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Invention Secrecy Activity Rises Slightly

A total of 5,784 patent applications remained subject to invention secrecy orders at the end of Fiscal Year 17, according to new data provided by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The secrecy orders, issued under the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951, restrict disclosure of patent applications considered to be “detrimental to national security” if […]

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