Secrecy and Security News
- Pentagon Opposes Secrecy Reform Legislation, letter from DepSecDef John Hamre, undated (spring 1999). " The 'public interest' in the content of the information should not be a consideration."
- FBI Adds New Files to its FOIA Web Site, press release, July 30. Additions include files on Walter Winchell, Ma Barker, etc.
- DOE Orders Department-Wide Security Stand-Down, DOE press release, July 29. "On Aug. 3, at facilities where classified work is done, daily activities will stop as employees examine personal responsibilities for security, counterintelligence and cyber-security."
- House Moves to Release MIA Files, July 26. "Simply put, this resolution would declassify the records of the House Select Committee on Missing Persons. It would authorize and direct the archivist of the United States to make these records available to the public."
- House Report Says Pentagon Ignored Spending Rules by John Martin and David Ruppe, ABCNEWS.com, July 23. "'This is really a direct challenge to our constitutional form of government,' says Steven Aftergood of the Federation of the American Scientists in Washington, D.C."
- Pentagon Responds to Report It Misspent Funds, from DoD press briefing, July 22. "'About 99.9 percent of the time we seem to be doing things right,' said Defense Secretary William Cohen."
- Pentagon Violates Funding Restrictions, House Committee Says, an excerpt from the Report on the FY 2000 Defense Appropriations Bill. "The Committee believes these instances raise fundamental questions regarding DoD program oversight and compliance with existing law and regulations."
- Moynihan Amendments on Declassification Adopted, July 21. Senate passes a sense of Congress resolution ("It is the sense of Congress that the systematic declassification of records of permanent historic value is in the public interest....") and approves an authorization increase for the Information Security Oversight Office.
- Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2000, as adopted by the Senate on July 21. Includes the establishment of a new Agency for Nuclear Stewardship at the Department of Energy.
- Federal agency finds Americans want access to government information by Phillip Taylor, Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, July 20. "Most Americans strongly believe in the public's need to know about information the government is collecting or creating according to a recent informal survey released by the federal Information Security Oversight Office."
- Remarks of Sen. Robert Kerrey on Secrecy and Intelligence Budget Disclosure, July 19. "My own view is that the failure under law to let the public know what our expenditures are, and how those moneys are spent, decreases our security."
- Remarks of Rep. Doug Bereuter on the Cox Committee Report, July 19. "There are numerous instances in the Prather document of inaccurate interpretations and distortions of the Cox Committee Report."
- Facts Speak Louder Than Words and Lies Will Collapse by Themselves, a Chinese government rebuttal to the Cox Committee report on Chinese espionage, July 15. "In order to clarify the truth and air the facts, the Information Office of the State Council has conducted further investigations of the issues raised in the report.... The conclusions of the report... are utterly absurd and do not hold water."
- DOE Toughens Requirements for Unclassified Foreign Visits, July 14. "Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson today formally issued revised procedures for visits and assignments by foreign nationals to the Department of Energy's (DOE) national laboratories and other facilities."
- The Handling of FBI Intelligence Information Related to the Justice Departmentís Campaign Finance Investigation, a report of the Justice Department Inspector General, July 1999, unclassified executive summary. "[FBI's National Security Division (NSD)] exhibited undue reluctance to disseminate intelligence information outside of the division... NSDís intransigence stymied the Task Forceís efforts to obtain access to NSDís Foreign Counterintelligence case files."
- Finding the Balance: Scientific Openness and National Security. The National Academy of Sciences will sponsor a symposium August 2-3 on finding an appropriate balance between scientific openness and national security.
- Testimony of Dr. Victor H. Reis, Assistant Secretary for Defense Programs, Dept. of Energy, before the House Armed Services Committee, July 14. "Scientific inquiry by its very nature is curious, probing, and sharing, in many ways antithetical to the secrecy imbedded at the heart of many national security programs. This inherent tension between secrecy and open science is real and must be managed as part of an integrated enterprise."
- DOD: Encryption export troubling by Daniel Verton, Federal Computer Week, July 12. "Many officials evidently believe that there is a net advantage to be gained from delaying the widespread availability of strong encryption," Aftergood said. "But even these officials must realize that, for better or for worse, current controls are not sustainable for long."
- New Files Added to FBI FOIA Web Site, July 9. "The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced today that it has added the following new subject matters to the Espionage, Famous Persons, and Historical Interest categories of its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Internet website."
- Declassified National Intelligence Estimates on the Soviet Union. A list of NIEs that have been declassified by the CIA. (The documents themselves must be obtained from the National Archives.)
- Declassified Intelligence Analyses on the Former Soviet Union. A list of declassified analyses-- not the documents themselves-- prepared by CIA's Historical Review Program.
- CIA Plan to Topple Milosevic "Absurd", The Independent (London), July 8. "The United States has begun a top-secret effort to topple Slobodan Milosevic -- so top-secret that it has now been reported in both Time and Newsweek magazines."
- Trust Us, We're Spies by Dan Dupont, MoJo Wire (Mother Jones Interactive), July 7. "The CIA spends taxpayers' money, but it doesn't want to say how, or on what. Not it's fighting a Freedom of Information Act request to reveal the 1999 intel budget, claiming that exposing the numbers would pose a threat to national security."
- Not So Approachable: The NSA Claims Attorney-Client Privilege by Jason Vest, The Village Voice, July 7-13. "At first glance, NSA's argument is preposterous, and it is at second glance, too."
- Foreign Relations in the 21st Century: A Proposal, a discussion paper on adapting the official "Foreign Relations of the United States" series to the needs of the near future.
- Historians' Resolution on Declassification of Government Documents, adopted by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, June 26. Dismantling the declassification program would pose a serious threat to the maintenance of an informed public, which is both a prerequisite to and a principle of democracy.
- How Not to Combat Chinese Espionage, by Steven Aftergood, Los Angeles Times, July 4. "Some of the 'solutions' to Chinese espionage will create more problems than they solve."
- Wrongheaded "Protection", by Steven Aftergood, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, July/August 1999. "The Clinton administration's remarkable efforts to reduce the scope of government secrecy and promote declassification of Cold War records may be an unfortunate casualty of the Chinese nuclear espionage scandal."
- White House Statement on Historical NSC Policy Documents, July 1. "the National Security Council staff has compiled a comprehensive historical list of 1,624 NSC policy documents from the Kennedy through the Bush
Administrations and have made them available to the general public on the NSC website."
- New Revelations on General Pinochet and the United States, statement of Rep. George Miller, July 1. "I applaud the Administration for releasing yesterday's documents but I strongly urge them to continue to release documents on a timely basis from all
branches of the Administration, including the CIA."
- Selected Documents from the Pinochet Era in Chile, presented by the National Security Archive, June 30.
- White House Statement on Release of Chile Documents, June 30. "These documents are part of a discretionary review of U.S. government files related to human rights abuses, terrorism and other acts of political violence prior to and during the Pinochet era in Chile."
- Dulles Papers Opened at Princeton University, State Department press statement, June 23. "On Friday, June 25,1999 Princeton University will mark the opening to the public of the microfilmed copies of official papers from the Department of State from the period when John Foster Dulles served as Secretary."
Older News: June 1999
maintained by Steven Aftergood