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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

Against Naive Transparency

“Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants,” Louis Brandeis famously wrote a century ago in praise of publicity. But in fact there are many better disinfectants, such as iodine and alcohol. And in excess, sunlight itself can induce sunburn or even skin cancer. Likewise, by analogy, “transparency” as a political virtue is rife […]

Read More

Remembering Jeff Richelson

We were sad to learn that intelligence historian Jeffrey T. Richelson passed away last weekend. Richelson was one of a small number of pioneers of a new genre of public interest research focused on national security and intelligence. He advanced the boundaries of public knowledge and understanding of the far-flung national security apparatus through his […]

Read More

President’s Power to Use Nuclear Weapons, & More from CRS

The President’s authority to use nuclear weapons — which is the subject of a congressional hearing today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — was addressed in several recent publications of the Congressional Research Service. A new CRS Legal Sidebar addresses the unresolved question: Can Congress Limit the President’s Power to Launch Nuclear Weapons? A detailed new […]

Read More

Some “Acting” Officials Will Soon Lose Authority

Some government officials who are serving on an “acting” basis because a permanent replacement has not yet been named will lose their ability to function this month when their legal authority is nullified under the terms of the Vacancies Act. In the Trump Administration there are hundreds of government agency positions requiring Senate confirmation that […]

Read More

Protected Status for Many Refugees Set to Expire

Updated below US law provides temporary protected status (TPS) for certain foreign nationals in the United States who are fleeing armed conflict, natural disaster or other extreme circumstances in their native country. But many refugees who have been granted such temporary status may soon have it revoked. “The United States currently provides TPS to approximately […]

Read More

The North Korean Nuclear Challenge, & More from CRS

North Korea’s rapidly maturing nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missile programs have prompted urgent reconsideration of what to do about them. A new report from the Congressional Research Service identifies and examines seven possible directions for US policy, none of them risk-free or altogether satisfactory: *    maintaining the military status quo *    enhanced containment and […]

Read More

A Bumpy Road for Controlled Unclassified Information

The effort to establish a uniform policy for Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) is meeting opposition from some executive branch agencies who see it as unnecessary and unwelcome. CUI refers to information that is unclassified but that requires protection for reasons other than national security– such as privacy, proprietary concerns, law enforcement sensitivity, and so on. […]

Read More