Secrecy and Security News
Newer News: August 2009
- Declassified Briefing Still Classified, Says CIA by Meteor Blades, Daily Kos, July 29. "Since 2000, Secrecy News has been a heavily sourced must-read for any investigative blogger or journalist interested in what the intelligence side of government is hiding."
- Holt Calls for Next Church Committee on CIA by Spencer Ackerman, The Washington Independent, July 27. "After years of examining CIA operations of dubious legality, an important member of the House intelligence committee is exploring an option that many in the intelligence community view with apprehension: a comprehensive investigation of all intelligence-community operations over years and perhaps even decades."
- Pitfalls with the Nixon Tapes and How to Avoid Them by Richard A. Moss, History News Network, July 27. "The simple fact is that quiet, internal warnings were ignored, with the result that the entire quality control process had broken down by 2007, thereby jeopardizing the reliability of the Foreign Relations series."
- US report: NKorea preparing for Kim's succession by Foster Klug, Associated Press, July 24. "A U.S. spy agency report says North Korea has restarted a subtle but persistent propaganda campaign to prepare the country's people for a successor to ailing leader Kim Jong Il."
- Open Government — or 'Transparency Theater'? by Maura Reynolds, CQ Politics, July 24. "On his first full day as president in January, Obama issued a memorandum to all federal departments and agencies ordering an 'unprecedented level of openness in government.' His administration, he declared, would operate from Day One on the premise that if lawmakers or citizens request information, they should get it. Those words cheered government watchdog groups and Obama’s fellow Democrats in Congress. But in the six months since, their optimism has dimmed."
- CIA Denies Release of Redacted President's Daily Brief, letter from Dolores M. Nelson, July 23. "We located material which we determined is currently and properly classified and must be denied in its entirety."
- Two federal groups follow different paths to transparency by Aliya Sternstein, Nextgov.com, July 23. "Two government groups conducting significant national security reviews followed different procedures for collecting outside input, illustrating that agencies, even those working in the same policy area, are inconsistent in their approaches to transparency initiatives."
- Group tries to expose intelligence misdeeds by Nedra Pickler, Associated Press, July 22. "A public interest group is trying to use the Freedom of Information Act to crack more than three decades of secrecy surrounding how the government deals with wrongdoing by intelligence agencies."
- Aiming at CIA, NSA misdeeds, free speech group sues for oversight records by Stephen Lee, Washington Examiner, July 22. "The Electronic Frontier Foundation is set to file a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit today in Federal court to obtain information from the Intelligence Oversight Board, with the goal of obtaining documentary evidence of intelligence agency misdeeds, reports wired.com’s Threat Level blog."
- Administration to get recommendations on reducing over-classification by Ben Bain, Federal Computer Week, July 16. "An advisory group plans to develop recommendations this week on how the government can address the overclassification of data and will present those recommendations to President Barack Obama’s national security adviser."
- Information Derived from Classified Materials Will Aid Understanding of Changing Climate, Interior Department news release, July 15. "Images derived from classified materials are now available to the public through the US Geological Survey's website to support environmental analysis of global climate-related science, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today."
- Wyden Says Bush Policies Were "Harmful to U.S. National Security", news release, July 10. "While former Bush Administration officials continue to argue that their policies made the country safer, I believe this report shows that their obsession with secrecy and their refusal to accept oversight was actually harmful to U.S. national security, not to mention the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans."
- Will Obama Clean Up Government Secrecy Labeling? by Jennifer LaFleur, ProPublica, July 10. "Not available national technical information service. High-temperature superconductivity pilot center information. Business confidential. Census confidential. These are among the more than 100 special designations federal agencies apply to information that is not officially classified but in their view requires special handling."
- Pelosi, Panetta in new duel over CIA misleading Congress by Gail Russell Chaddock, Christian Science Monitor, July 9. "In a closed briefing, did the spy chief acknowledge that the agency had 'concealed significant actions'?"
- With the C.I.A., Is Congress in the Loop? by Eric Etheridge, New York Times The Opinionator, July 9. "New legislation by House Democrats seeks to strengthen Congress’s ability to oversee covert CIA activities, an effort that has in turn prompted a presidential veto threat."
- Top Secret Patents by B. Collins, Inventors Digest, July 2009. "The government is classifying more innovations as secret in the name of national security."
- Military Grapples With Information Overload by Thomas Claburn, Information Week, July 9. "Surging surveillance data threatens to overwhelm the military's ability to deal with the information. A report from a defense advisory group is calling for new data analysis technology and for taking a cue from Google."
- Department of Defense spies bend rules to keep Congress in the dark by Stephen Lee, Washington Examiner, July 6. "The Department of Defense has failed to report intelligence operations and covert actions conducted by special operations forces and DoD intelligence units to the House and Senate intelligence committees, according to the House report on the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010."
- Recommendations for reducing government secrecy roll in by Ben Bain, Federal Computer Week, July 6. "Since June 29 people have been submitting recommendations via the Declassification Policy Forum, an online discussion hosted at the White House’s Office of Science and Technology’s Web site. People can post comments until July 19."
- Officials weigh cost of transparency, with an eye on technology's role by Aliya Sternstein, Nextgov, July 6. "President Obama often refers to the clear-cut benefits of striking a healthy balance between transparency and national security, such as upholding the Constitution. More ambiguous are the financial savings derived from increased transparency."
- Obama Invites the Public’s Ideas on Easing Secrecy by Adriel Bettelheim, CQ Politics, July 3. "President Obama’s first official act on taking office was to issue a series of memos and executive orders to promote transparency in government. One outcome is an unusual online effort that launched this week on the White House’s Web site to solicit public comment on how to change the government’s classification and declassification policies."
- Navy Unwilling to Expedite Declassification Review of Specific Historic Records, letter from Vice Adm. J.C. Harvey, Jr. to National Security Archive, July 1. "I regret to inform you that the Navy is unable to support your request at this time due to previously established government declassification priorities."
Older News: June 2009