from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2016, Issue No. 36
April 20, 2016
Secrecy News Blog: http://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/
- AIR FORCE UPDATES DOCTRINE ON CYBERSPACE OPERATIONS
- CROSS-CUTTING INTELLIGENCE ISSUES, AND MORE FROM CRS
AIR FORCE UPDATES DOCTRINE ON CYBERSPACE OPERATIONS
Within living memory, even a passing mention of cyber weapons or U.S. offensive activities in cyberspace was deemed sufficient to justify national security classification. Now, although the Obama Administration generally neither claims nor receives credit for it, military cyberspace doctrine has become one of a number of significant policy areas in which this Administration is demonstrably "more transparent" than its predecessors.
A new US Air Force directive "provides policy guidelines for planning and conducting AF cyberspace operations to support the warfighter and achieve national security objectives."
"The AF will execute Cyberspace Operations" -- including both offensive and defensive actions -- "to support joint warfighter requirements, increase effectiveness of its core missions, increase resiliency, survivability, and cybersecurity of its information and systems, and realize efficiencies through innovative IT solutions." See Cyberspace Operations, Air Force Policy Directive AFPD 17-2, April 12, 2016:
A companion directive further specifies, for example, that "Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) will... deploy AF approved cyber weapon systems." See Air Force Policy Directive 17-1, Information Dominance, Governance and Management, 12 April 2016:
CROSS-CUTTING INTELLIGENCE ISSUES, AND MORE FROM CRS
A new report from the Congressional Research Service raises the possibility that polygraph testing of intelligence employees could be phased out in favor of "continuous evaluation" (CE), i.e. the automated monitoring of financial, criminal and other databases.
The notion was suggested in a CRS overview of selected intelligence policy issues, including budget management, the quality of analysis, big data, workforce diversity, global coverage, and transparency.
The new CRS report, written by Anne Daugherty Miles, does not make recommendations, but instead presents a series of questions for congressional consideration, such as:
"In light of the IC's use of CE to continually monitor an employee's social and financial activity, are polygraph examinations still necessary?"This particular CRS report does not address intelligence surveillance policy, whistleblower policy, or various other intelligence-related topics of current controversy or interest. See The U.S. Intelligence Community: Selected Cross-Cutting Issues, April 12, 2016:
"Are there portions of the IC budget that could be made more transparent to the American public without endangering national security?"
"Should the IC be expected to monitor every corner of the world every hour of the day?"
"What authorities are needed to enhance cooperation with outside experts?"
"Are the new principles of transparency sufficient? Can the DNI do more to promote transparency across the IC?" (The April 15 CRS report does not take note of the latest steps by DNI Clapper to invigorate IC implementation of the Fundamental Classification Guidance Review or to establish the IC Transparency Council.)
Some other new or updated products from the Congressional Research Service include the following.
Contested Presidential Nominating Conventions: Brief Background and Questions, CRS Insight, April 15, 2016:
Sexual Violence at Institutions of Higher Education, updated April 15, 2016:
The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape, updated April 15, 2016:
European Security and Islamist Terrorism, CRS Insight, updated April 18, 2016:
Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate Program: Background and Issues for Congress, updated April 18, 2016:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.
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