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Secrecy and Security News
Newer News: January 2009
- Bush Data Threatens to Overload Archives by Robert Pear and Scott Shane, New York Times, December 27. "The National Archives has put into effect an emergency plan to handle electronic records from the Bush White House amid growing doubts about whether its new $144 million computer system can cope with the vast quantities of digital data it will receive when President Bush leaves office on Jan. 20."
- State Department Establishes Review Panel for Foreign Relations of the United States series, news release, December 23. "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met yesterday, December 22, with members of the Historical Advisory Committee (HAC) to discuss the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series and concerns expressed by some current and former members of the HAC about the series."
- Cheney claims power to decide his public records by Pamela Hess, Associated Press, December 18. "Dick Cheney's lawyers are asserting that the vice president alone has the authority to determine which records, if any, from his tenure will be handed over to the National Archives when he leaves office in January."
- State Department's histories at risk by Jeb Sharp, BBC The World, December 18. "The Office of the Historian at the State Department is tasked with writing the official history of U.S. foreign policy. By law it must create a "thorough, reliable and accurate" record of U.S. foreign policy. The tradition dates back to 1861. But now critics say a crisis inside the office may put the series at risk."
- Wikileaks Posts Secret Bomb-Stopper Report — Did It Go Too Far? by Noah Shachtman, Danger Room, December 18. "The report, dated 2004, gives specific information about how the jammers function, their radiated power and which frequencies they stop. That Baghdad bomb tech would've put his fist through a wall, if he saw it out in public. It raises important questions about what information - if any - is too sensitive to disclose."
- 'Magical' Gravity Wave Weapons No Threat, Panel Says by Noah Shachtman, Danger Room, December 16. "Despite what you may have heard on the Internets, the rippling of spacetime cannot be used as some sort of weapon. So says JASON, the Pentagon's premiere scientific advisory board."
- Report: HFGW not a threat to security, United Press International, December 15. "U.S. national security is not threatened by high-frequency gravitational waves, according to a report by the defense science advisory group JASON."
- ‘Crisis’ Seen in Key History Series by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Education, December 15. "Prominent historians are charging that the U.S. State Department office responsible for publishing documents that are essential for research on foreign policy is in “crisis,” endangering the historical record and important scholarly work."
- Sen. Leahy: In Final Days, Bush Administration Continues To Stonewall, news release, December 12. "Even in the final days of the Bush administration, the Department of Justice continues to stonewall congressional subpoenas for documents from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), according to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee."
- Feingold Calls on President-Elect to Take "Concrete Steps" to Restore the Rule of Law, news release, December 10. "In a letter to the President-elect, Feingold offered recommendations for action in four key areas – the separation of powers, excessive government secrecy, detention and interrogation policy, and domestic surveillance and privacy."
- Proposed Revision of Department of Energy FOIA Regulations, Federal Register, December 9. "This proposed rule would remove the so-called 'extra balancing test' in section 1004.1 which states: 'To the extent permitted by other laws, the DOE will make records available which it is authorized to withhold under 5 U.S.C. 552 whenever it determines that such disclosure is in the public interest.'" (FAS Comment on the proposed revision, December 9.)
- Mumbai Terrorists Relied on New Technology for Attacks by Jeremy Kahn, New York Times, December 9. "The terrorists who struck this city last month stunned authorities not only with their use of sophisticated weaponry but also with their comfort with modern technology."
- Report: Administration has mixed record on clearances by Alice Lipowicz, Federal Computer Week, December 8. "The Bush administration has improved the efficiency of managing security clearances, but the process remains cumbersome, according to a new report from chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence."
- A scientist allegedly took home a giraffe’s worth of classified documents. Should he get four years in prison? by Josh Gerstein, December 5. "Officials such as Alberto Gonzales and John Deutch who mishandled classified information escaped without jail time for their misdeeds. So why, then, is the Justice Department throwing the book at the lowly Boeing engineer by asking for a whopping four-year prison term?"
- Proposed Rule on Defense Support of Civil Authorities, Federal Register, December 4. "This proposed rule establishes policy and assigns responsibilities for DSCA, supplements regulations regarding military support for civilian law enforcement, and sets forth policy guidance for the execution and oversight of DSCA when requested by civil authorities and approved by the appropriate DoD authority, or as directed by the President, within the United States."
- A Dome Under Lock and Key by Tim Starks, CQ Weekly, November 30. "For all its apparent openness, its televised debates and public hearings, Congress is more secretive than its reputation suggests."
Older News: November 2008
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