NARA Drives Govt Transition to All-Electronic Records

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is embarking on an ambitious effort to phase out the acquisition of paper records by 2022 and to transition to all-electronic record keeping. The White House Office of Management and Budget has endorsed the initiative and has directed all federal agencies to adopt exclusively electronic formats for managing […]

Read More

Domestic Terrorism: Some Considerations

The problem of domestic terrorism is distinct from that of foreign terrorism because of the constitutional protections enjoyed by U.S. persons, the Congressional Research Service explained last week. “Constitutional principles — including federalism and the rights to free speech, free association, peaceable assembly, petition for the redress of grievances — may complicate the task of conferring domestic […]

Read More

Extreme Weather Threatens Military Facilities

Extreme weather events and rising sea levels are causing damage to U.S. military facilities and could threaten U.S. military infrastructure around the world. “Is the military ready for climate change?,” asked Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA). “It is not.” “In the last 12 months, severe storms have devastated Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Marine Corps Air […]

Read More

Up for Debate: Should U.S. Reduce Arms Sales Abroad?

Over the coming year, high school students around the country will debate whether the U.S. should reduce its arms sales to foreign countries. Specifically, the national debate topic that was selected for the 2019-20 school year is: Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially reduce Direct Commercial Sales and/or Foreign Military Sales of arms […]

Read More

Pentagon Pivots to More “Public Engagement”

Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, who took office last week, has directed senior military and civilian defense officials to “more actively engage with the public,” according to a Pentagon memo issued on Friday. “Simply put, the Department benefits when we thoughtfully engage with the American public, Congressional leaders, international community, and the media,” wrote Jonathan Rath Hoffman, […]

Read More

Limits on Free Expression: An International View

While many countries recognize freedom of speech as a fundamental value, every country also imposes some legal limits on free speech. A new report from the Law Library of Congress surveys the legal limitations on free expression in thirteen countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Israel, Japan, Germany, France, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and […]

Read More

Use of US Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2019

There are only nineteen years since 1798 when the U.S. did not have armed forces engaged in military operations abroad, according to an updated tally from the Congressional Research Service. See Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2019, updated July 17, 2019. The most recent year in which U.S. military forces were […]

Read More

CIA Can Selectively Disclose Information, Court Affirms

The Central Intelligence Agency can disclose restricted information to reporters without waiving its right to withhold the same information from other members of the public, a federal appeals court ruled last week. The appeals court affirmed a 2018 decision in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by reporter Adam Johnson against the CIA. He had requested copies […]

Read More

PCLOB Releases Its Oversight Agenda

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board is conducting oversight in nearly a dozen areas broadly related to intelligence and counterterrorism. The PCLOB oversight agenda was detailed in a statement this week. “This document describes the Board’s active oversight projects and other engagements. . . .The shorthand descriptions below are intended to provide public transparency, consistent with the protection […]

Read More

CIA Seeks Expanded Definition of “Covert Agents”

At the request of the Central Intelligence Agency, the pending intelligence authorization bill includes a provision that would expand the definition of “covert agents” whose identities are protected from unauthorized disclosure. The identities of intelligence officers who are serving abroad or who have done so within the past 5 years are already protected by current […]

Read More