from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2009, Issue No. 44
May 13, 2009

Secrecy News Blog:


The leadership of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is portrayed in a new chart prepared by the DNI Open Source Center (OSC). The chart includes the names, photographs and titles of dozens of senior North Korean officials, and also presents an illustrated family tree of supreme leader Kim Jong Il.

Like most other OSC products, this document has not been approved for public release, but a copy was obtained by Secrecy News. See "2009 Democratic People's Republic of Korea Leadership Chart," Open Source Center, April 15, 2009:

A schematic rendering of the organization of the North Korean government was given in "DPRK Power Structure Chart," Open Source Center, January 2009:


A new government-wide policy on "controlled unclassified information" (CUI) is still more than a year away from implementation, but not because of any lack of attention or interest. To the contrary, it is the subject of rather intensive policy deliberation, officials say, and is not "languishing" as Secrecy News stated on May 11.

CUI refers generally to information that is restricted in some way other than by national security classification. Because such restrictions have taken many different forms and names -- such as sensitive but unclassified, official use only, limited official use, and more than a hundred others -- they have also become a disruptive barrier to communication and a source of confusion inside and outside of government.

While the nature of the problem is clear enough (i.e. a reckless proliferation of often arbitrary non-disclosure policies), and the solution is also straightforward in principle (i.e. increased restraint, uniformity and consistency), getting from here to there turns out to be an exceptionally complicated policy problem.

It involves the activities of dozens of federal agencies, as well as state, local, and tribal entities, industry and others. It encompasses statutory and non-statutory control regimes. A consensus policy must first be achieved, then translated into implementing regulations, and inculcated through training and education programs.

To gain traction on the problem, officials have broken it down into several sub-categories, including safeguarding policy, document designation, dissemination, and lifecycle (or "decontrol" of the information). Significant headway has been made in several of these areas, one official said.

The Obama Administration is expected to weigh in on the topic in the near future, adding new direction and impetus to the process. But in any case, a new CUI policy is not expected to be in place before some time in Fiscal Year 2011.

"To undo decades of bad practices is going to take a while," said William J. Bosanko, the director of the Information Security Oversight Office who is also leading the interagency CUI reform effort.


Noteworthy new additions to the literature of U.S. Army Field Manuals include the following.

"Security Force Assistance," FM 3-07.1, May 2009 (on support to foreign security forces):

"Legal Support to the Operational Army," FM 1-04, April 2009 (including detainee and stability operations, but excluding the law of armed conflict):

"Visual Information Operations," FM 6-02.40, March 2009 (referring to military photography, video recording, and the production and use of other visual media):


A new report from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee discusses what is known about Iran's potential for developing nuclear weapons, as well as what is suspected or imagined.

"There is no sign that Iran's leaders have ordered up a bomb," the report notes. "But unclassified interviews... make clear that Iran has moved closer to completing the three components for a nuclear weapon--fissile material, warhead design and delivery system," the report stated.

Resolving suspicions about the potential military aspects of Iran's nuclear program "will be one of the most difficult [issues] confronting negotiators for the two countries and the international community," wrote Committee chairman Sen. John Kerry in his transmittal letter.

See "Iran: Where We Are Today," A Report to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, May 4, 2009:

Similarly, "We do not know whether Iran currently intends to develop nuclear weapons, although we assess Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons by continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so," according to another report drafted for the U.S. Intelligence Community by the CIA's Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control Center (WINPAC).

See "Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions, 1 January Through 31 December 2008," Unclassified Report to Congress, March 2009:


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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