Al Qaeda-Affiliated Groups, and More from CRS

The executive branch interprets the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force to permit military action against terrorist groups that are “associated” with Al Qaeda. Such associated forces are considered co-belligerents with Al Qaeda and the Taliban and are therefore legal targets of U.S. military force. But some groups or individuals may be “affiliated” with Al Qaeda ideologically or otherwise without being “associated” with it operationally. Those affiliated (but non-associated) groups would not be authorized […]

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Iraq Crisis and U.S. Policy, and More from CRS

The implications of the conflict in Iraq for U.S. policy were examined in a new report from the Congressional Research Service. See Iraq Crisis and U.S. Policy, June 20, 2014. The CRS report notably includes open source reporting and translations from the DNI Open Source Center. This sort of material had been routinely available to the public for decades until the CIA cut off public access to it last December 31. The CRS report on […]

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Missing the Open Source Center / World News Connection

The decision by the Central Intelligence Agency to terminate public access to its translations of foreign news reports at the end of 2013 continues to reverberate among frustrated former consumers. The translations had been performed by the Open Source Center (OSC) at CIA, and marketed to subscribers through the NTIS World News Connection (WNC). Their absence has left a felt void, particularly since the daily products had been continuously available to the public (by paid […]

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CIA Cuts Off Public Access to Its Translated News Reports

Beginning in 1974, the U.S. intelligence community provided the public with a broad selection of foreign news reports, updated daily.  These were collected and translated by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), which was reconstituted in 2004 as the Open Source Center (OSC). But the CIA has now terminated public access to those news reports, as of December 31.  The Open Source Center cut off its feed to the National Technical Information […]

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Orgs Ask DNI to Preserve Access to World News Connection

More than a dozen professional societies and public interest groups wrote to the Director of National Intelligence last week to ask him to preserve public access to foreign news reports gathered, translated and published by the Open Source Center and marketed to subscribers through the NTIS World News Connection. The CIA, which manages the Open Source Center for the intelligence community, intends to terminate public access to the World News Connection at the end of […]

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Declassification as a Confidence-Building Measure

In order to restore public trust, the U.S. intelligence community ought to be “aggressive” about reducing classification, former intelligence officials said last week. Secrecy “is an enormous problem,” said Michael Leiter, who directed the National Counterterrorism Center from 2007 to 2011. “I hope the DNI is very aggressive about moving towards less classification and more effective security clearances.” He didn’t specify what information he thought should cease to be classified, or exactly how a policy […]

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White House Sets New Goals for Open Government

In a new Open Government National Action Plan that was released today, the White House affirmed its support for open government values, and set an agenda for the remainder of the current Administration. “The new plan includes a wide range of actions the Administration will take over the next two years, including commitments that build upon past successes as well as several new initiatives,” the Plan stated. “The Administration will work with the public and […]

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CIA Halts Public Access to Open Source Service

For more than half a century, the public has been able to access a wealth of information collected by U.S. intelligence from unclassified, open sources around the world.  At the end of this year, the Central Intelligence Agency will terminate that access. The U.S. intelligence community’s Open Source Center (OSC), which is managed by the CIA, will cease to provide its information feed to the publicly accessible World News Connection as of December 31, 2013, […]

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Charter of Open Source Org is Classified, CIA Says

Updated below Open Source Works, which is the CIA’s in-house open source analysis component, is devoted to intelligence analysis of unclassified, open source information.  Oddly, however, the directive that established Open Source Works is classified, as is the charter of the organization.  In fact, CIA says the very existence of any such records is a classified fact. “The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of records responsive to your request,” wrote […]

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Open Source Center Views China’s Huawei Technologies

The DNI Open Source Center produced a report this month profiling Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., China’s largest telecommunications company.  See “Huawei Annual Report Details Directors, Supervisory Board for First Time,” October 5, 2011. The report is based primarily on Huawei’s own website, which released new details earlier this year about the company’s management team.  “The release of this information may be intended to counter media accusations that the company lacks transparency,” the OSC said. The OSC profile of […]

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