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Secrecy and Security News
Newer News: November 2008
- Change Expands Eligibility for Intelligence Hires by Walter Pincus, Washington Post, October 29. "Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell has taken steps to make it easier for U.S. intelligence agencies to recruit first-generation Americans with foreign relatives."
- U.S. says 2008 intelligence budget was $47.5 billion by Jim Wolf, Reuters, October 28. "The U.S. intelligence budget rose more than 9 percent in fiscal 2008 to total $47.5 billion from $43.5 billion the year before, the director of national intelligence said on Tuesday."
- Intel agencies spent $47.5 billion by Pamela Hess, Associated Press, October 28. "U.S. spy agencies spent $47.5 billion in fiscal year 2008, $4 billion more than in the previous budget year, according to National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell."
- DNI Releases Budget Figure for 2008 National Intelligence Program, ODNI news release, October 28. "The aggregate amount appropriated to the NIP for fiscal year 2008 was $47.5 Billion."
- DOD: Controlled but unclassified data is leaking by Alice Lipowicz, Federal Computer Week, October 27. "Controlled but unclassified Defense Department information is leaking to the public from thousands of Web sites sponsored by DOD, according to a recent memo by DOD Chief Information Officer John Grimes."
- Spy Fears: Twitter Terrorists, Cell Phone Jihadists by Noah Shachtman, Danger Room, October 24. "Could Twitter become terrorists' newest killer app? A draft Army intelligence report, making its way through spy circles, thinks the miniature messaging software could be used as an effective tool for coordinating militant attacks."
- President Names Two to the Public Interest Declassification Board, White House news release, October 23.
- NRC Rule on Protection of Safeguards Information, Federal Register, October 24. "The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is amending its regulations for the protection of Safeguards Information (SGI) to protect SGI from inadvertent release and unauthorized disclosure which might compromise the security of nuclear facilities and materials."
- Why are Docs From the Bailout Being Redacted? by Ben Protess, ProPublica, October 22. "The U.S. Treasury Department has decided against publicly releasing key details of the contract it awarded Bank of New York Mellon to keep the books for the government’s purchase of toxic securities. In a publicly released copy of the contract, the Treasury blacked out how much it will pay the bank for its role in the government's $700 billion taxpayer-funded bailout."
- U.S. Army scrutinizes, alters medical studies under little-known scientific censorship program, documents reveal by Bryant Furlow, epiNews, October 21. "Since 2006, U.S. Army censors have scrutinized hundreds of medical studies, scientific posters, abstracts, and Powerpoint presentations authored by doctors and scientists at Walter Reed and other Army medical research centers, documents obtained with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal—part of a little-known prepublication review process called 'Actionable Medical Information Review'."
- GeoEye's New Satellite Offers Unprecedentedly Sharp Images by William Matthews, Defense News, October 20. "The sharpest commercial imaging satellite ever launched is now orbiting the Earth, sweeping over the North Pole and under the South Pole every 98 minutes, collecting high-resolution images of the scene below."
- Former Aipac Lobbyists Are Said To Be Hopeful of a New Review of Their Case by Nathan Guttman, Forward, October 16. "Defendants in the classified-information case involving two former pro-Israel lobbyists are hoping a change in administrations next year will bring a fresh review of their prosecution, according to sources on the defense team."
- Watch where you point that death ray, soldier by Jeff Stein, CQ Spy Talk, October 16. "The Air Force has published a new manual on the handling of Directed Energy Weapons, or DEWS in Air Force lingo."
- IG: Army is lax in overseeing issuance of contractor ID cards by Bob Brewin, Government Executive NextGov, October 16. "An Army contractor conducted only cursory background checks on personnel in the Middle East before issuing electronic identification cards that allow access to Defense Department computer networks and facilities, auditors said in a recent report."
- CDC Rule on Possession, Use, and Transfer of Select Agents and Toxins, Federal Register, October 16. "This document completes the biennial review and republication
of the lists of biological agents and toxins regulated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as well as those biological agents and toxins regulated by both HHS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)."
- Dept of Agriculture: Biennial Review and Republication of the Select Agent and Toxin List, Federal Register, October 16. "In accordance with the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002, we are amending and republishing the list of select agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a severe threat to animal or plant health, or to animal or plant products."
- U.S. secretly collecting detainee DNA, United Press International, October 15. "The U.S. government has been secretly collecting DNA samples from suspected terrorists as part of a database used by the defense and intelligence communities."
- Public Interest Declassification Board: Notice of Public Meeting (pdf), Federal Register, October 14. The Board will meet on Friday October 31 at the National Archives.
- Manual has terrorist kidnapping theories, United Press International, October 13. "A U.S. Army manual has incorporated evidence from case studies on terrorist organizations that use kidnapping as a threat tactic."
- U.S. intel likes Israeli media, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, October 6. "U.S. intelligence agencies published a favorable, extensive review of the Israeli media. The CIA, which supervises the Open Source Center, has not authorized the release of the report. Secrecy News, a publication of the Federation of American Scientists, obtained it and published it Monday."
- ODNI: Trade-off information security for good intel by Bob Brewin, Government Executive, October 1. "The Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a directive on Tuesday that recommends managers of information technology systems accept a lower level of security if it provides the United States with better intelligence."
Older News: September 2008
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