Secrecy and Security News
Newer News: March 2009
- Rep. Towns Seeks Update on White House Email Archiving, letter to White House Counsel Greg Craig, February 27. "The Committee is requesting updated information on how such systems were implemented in the closing months of the previous Administration and their status at the beginning of the new Administration."
- Military probes how secret briefing wound up on Web by Pam Zubeck, Colorado Springs Gazette, February 28. "The military is investigating how a secret briefing about national security got posted on the Web, including information about 93 tunnels found along the nation's borders and a warning that Canada could become a terrorist gateway."
- Navy classifies ship inspection reports by Philip Ewing, Navy Times, February 27. "The Navy has classified regular reports about the material condition of its fleet, an about-face from when the reports were accessible as public documents under the Freedom of Information Act."
- National Security Structure Is Set by Karen DeYoung, Washington Post, February 27. "President Obama's first presidential directive, outlining the organization of his national security structure, adds the attorney general, the secretaries of energy and homeland security, and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to the formal National Security Council."
- Dept of Defense News Briefing on Media Coverage of Fallen Soldiers at Dover AFB, February 26. "After receiving input from a number of sources, including all of the military services and organizations representing military families, I have decided that the decision regarding media coverage of the dignified transfer process at Dover should be made by those most directly affected: on an individual basis by the families of the fallen. We ought not presume to make that decision in their place."
- Dept of Defense News Briefing: Excerpts on Non-Disclosure Agreements, February 25. "Everybody who's participating in this process -- these are the highest-ranking people in this department -- were asked to sign this -- and the secretary signed one as well -- were asked to sign an agreement in which they would agree not to speak to any of the matters that they are working on as part of this budget process."
- Opening the Files on Bush's Secrets by Jon Wiener, The Nation, February 25. "'For a long time there's been too much secrecy in this city,' President Obama said on his first day in office as he announced new policies favoring openness in government. Ever since, reporters and others in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) business have been talking about their priorities for release of documents they have been seeking, in some cases for years."
- Obama asks for review of White House homeland security coordination by Jason Miller, Federal News Radio, February 25. "The White House is replacing Homeland Security Presidential Directives with Presidential Study Directives, and President Barack Obama issued the first PSD Feb. 23 requiring the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism to lead an interagency review of how the White House is organized on these issues."
- Classified Documents Allowed in Espionage Trial by Jerry Markon, Washington Post, February 25. "A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that two former pro-Israel lobbyists accused of violating the Espionage Act can use classified information at trial, the latest setback for prosecutors in the closely watched case."
- Lobbyists win classified leaks ruling by Eli Lake, Washington Times, February 25. "The U.S. government Tuesday lost a critical appeal in a case involving America's largest pro-Israel organization - a development that could bolster the rights of reporters, lobbyists and social activists to obtain and publicize classified government information."
- Prosecutors Lose Key Rulings in AIPAC Case by Nathan Guttman, Forward, February 25. "Federal prosecutors in the national security case against two former pro-Israel lobbyists suffered legal blows this week that could affect their chances of winning or even lead the government to reconsider going forward with the case."
- Prosecution of AIPAC staffers dealt major blow by Ron Kampeas, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, February 24. "The prosecution in the case against two former AIPAC staffers lost two key battles in recent days, raising hopes among the defense that the ex-officials of the pro-Israel lobby ultimately will be acquitted of all charges."
- Technology urged to stop tunnels at borders by Alice Lipowicz, Federal Computer Week, February 24. "More tunnel detection technology and information sharing could help stop smugglers who have have built dozens of cross-border tunnels for illegal entry into the United States, a Defense Department report says."
- Congressional Research Service veteran steps down by Mike Magner, CongressDaily, February 23. "Few people know more about government secrets -- not the secrets themselves but how they are kept -- than Harold Relyea, a leading authority on government institutions for 37 years at the Congressional Research Service."
- Groups caution Obama not breaking from Bush secrecy by Edith Honan, Reuters, February 19. "Civil liberties experts say ongoing cases related to torture and rendition are testing the Obama administration's assertion it will be more open and transparent than the Bush administration."
- “Tweed Wars” Revisited by Justin Vogt, The New Yorker, February 17. "Just before leaving office, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appointed a review panel to investigate allegations that Marc Susser had turned the State Department’s Office of the Historian into what one critic called 'the equivalent of a petty dictatorship'."
- Thousands of Congressional Reports Now Available Online by Brian Krebs, Washington Post, February 11. "On Monday, Wikileaks.org, an online clearinghouse for leaked documents, published thousands of previously unreleased CRS reports."
- Deputy Attorney General-Nominee David W. Ogden on Openness and Whistleblowers, February 5. "I am a big believer in whistleblowers, and in the need to make sure that people feel comfortable coming forward to make complaints, and to bring problems to the attention of management."
- Bill aims to prevent over-classification by Ben Bain, Federal Computer Week, February 5. "Observers are concerned that unnecessary classifying of information in categories that restrict its sharing makes it difficult for DHS to share security information with state and local authorities."
- Congress opens secrets to local first responders by Jim Abrams, Associated Press, February 3. "The legislation would require the Homeland Security Department to produce a declassified version of threat information for state and local first responders who don't have the security clearance to view classified material."
- What the new transparency rules will mean by Gregg Carlstrom and Elise Castelli, Federal Times, February 1. "President Barack Obama directed agencies to release more information under the Freedom of Information Act by adopting a 'presumption in favor of disclosure.' Transparency advocates say the directive could mark the beginning of a new culture of openness in government."
Older News: January 2009