Secrecy and Security News
Newer News: August 2012
- Anti-leak measure targets background briefings by Greg Miller, Washington Post, July 31. "An anti-leak measure approved by a key Senate committee would all but eliminate a long-standing practice in Washington in which senior intelligence analysts occasionally provide what are known as background briefings for reporters."
- Civil liberties/constitutional concerns re "leak provisions" in the FY 2013 Intelligence Authorization bill as reported by Kate Martin, Center for National Security Studies, July 30
- An Open Letter to United States Senate: Oppose the Anti-Speech Policy in the Intelligence Authorization Bill, coalition letter opposing provisions of the FY2013 intelligence bill, July 30
- Complaint Concerning Overclassification of Documents in Thomas Drake Case, letter from J. William Leonard to ISOO Director John Fitzpatrick, July 30, 2011 (approved for release July 27, 2012)
- NSA expert disclosure letters explain classification of "What a Wonderful Success" email, released July 27. "This document is classified overall as 'Secret,' because the information contained therein reveals classified technical details of NSA capabilities and a specific level of effort and commitment by NSA, but nOt to a degree that adversaries could design or employ countermeasures."
- Senate Intelligence Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2013 Intelligence Authorization, news release, July 25. "The legislation includes a title on preventing unauthorized disclosures of classified information to improve the government's ability to prevent and detect unauthorized disclosures that harm national security and investigate and punish those responsible."
- Romney raps security leaks, top Democrat cools criticism by Callum Borchers and Bryan Bender, Boston Globe, July 25. "Mitt Romney accused President Obama's White House Tuesday of leaking classified national security secrets, citing a similar charge by the Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee."
- Final Rule on DoD Unclassified Controlled Nuclear Information (UCNI), Federal Register, July 25. "This revision streamlines and reflects current practices within the Department of Defense."
- Pentagon News Briefing: Excerpt on Leaks of Classified Information, July 24. "You came out with a directive that called for active monitoring of national-level media for unauthorized disclosures. Can you give the public a sense of the rationale for this move? And have you had a lot of leaks lately? Or what's the backdrop for, George? Because it's somewhat disquieting."
- Nearly 5 Million People Have Government Security Clearances by David Kravets, Wired Threat Level, July 23. "The number of U.S. government employees and contractors holding security clearances jumped to 4.86 million last year from 4.7 million the year prior, according to the 2011 Report on Security Clearance Determinations."
- Report: 4.9 million feds, contractors hold security clearances by Sean Reilly, Federal Times, July 23. "Almost 4.9 million people held security clearances last year, according to a new report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence."
- Ex-federal official calls U.S. classification system 'dysfunctional' by Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, July 21. "Leonard's views, outlined in an affidavit, got some support with the release of a memo that formed part of the evidence against Drake."
- Experts: Ruling could hurt Bradley Manning's defense in WikiLeaks case by Annika McGinnis, McClatchy Newspapers, July 20. "Legal experts say WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning's lawyers might have lost a key element of their defense because of a military judge's ruling this week that would prevent them from using evidence to contend that there was little 'actual harm' from the enormous leak of secret government documents."
- Pentagon Press Association Requests Clarification of DoD Anti-Leak Policy, July 20. "We all believe the July 19 statement is open to varying interpretations by Defense Department officials and to potential abuse. We would appreciate the earliest possible response to our questions."
- NSA Releases "What a Wonderful Success" email, National Security Agency, July 20. This email message served as the basis of Count One in the recent prosecution of former NSA official Thomas Drake.
- Pentagon Statement on Defense Initiatives to Limit Unauthorized Disclosures of Classified Information, July 19. "The Department of Defense has taken a comprehensive approach to address the issue of national security leaks. Personnel in all components are continuously working to protect classified information and identify those who do not uphold their obligations to protect national defense information."
- FDA isn't the only agency snooping in e-mail by Joe Davidson, Washington Post, July 18. "With the Food and Drug Administration's surveillance of its staff, perhaps 'FDA' should stand for the Federal Detective Administration. Actually, that could be an umbrella agency charged with coordinating all government programs that spy on federal employees. It would be an agency with a list of operations longer than many people realize."
- National Reconnaissance Office accused of illegally collecting personal data by Marisa Taylor, McClatchy News, July 10. "One of the nation's most secretive intelligence agencies is pressuring its polygraphers to obtain intimate details of the private lives of thousands of job applicants and employees, pushing the ethical and legal boundaries of a program that's designed instead to catch spies and terrorists."
- Growing costs of keeping secrets: Almost 30 percent jump in 3 years by Sean Reilly, Federal Times, July 8. "The price tag for protecting government secrets is soaring. In fiscal 2011, executive branch agencies spent $11.4 billion on classified information systems, physical security and other safeguards, up 12 percent from 2010 and almost 30 percent over 2009, according to a new government report."
- Squelching Secrets: Why Are Obama's Prosecutors Pursuing John Kiriakou? by Dan Froomkin, Huffington Post, July 4. "The severity of the charges facing Kiriakou has outraged human rights activists and good-government groups, who said they see the scapegoating of a whistleblower."
- Feds Look to Fight Leaks With 'Fog of Disinformation' by Noah Shachtman, Wired Danger Room, July 3. "Pentagon-funded researchers have come up with a new plan for busting leakers: Spot them by how they search, and then entice the secret-spillers with decoy documents that will give them away."
- Cost to Protect U.S. Secrets Doubles to Over $11 Billion by Scott Shane, New York Times, July 3. "The federal government spent more than $11 billion to protect its secrets last year, double the cost of classification a decade ago -- and that is only the part it will reveal. The total does not include the costs incurred by the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and other spy agencies, whose spending is -- you guessed it -- classified. "
Older News: June 2012