Secrecy and Security News
Newer News: January 2010
- Obama Curbs Secrecy of Classified Documents by Charlie Savage, New York Times, December 30. "President Obama declared on Tuesday that 'no information may remain classified indefinitely' as part of a sweeping overhaul of the executive branch’s system for protecting classified national security information."
- Obama moves to curb number of classified records by Anne Flaherty, Associated Press, December 30. "President Barack Obama on Tuesday ordered the federal government to rethink how it protects the nation's secrets, in a move that was expected to declassify more than 400 million pages of Cold War-era documents and curb the number of government records hidden from the public."
- Executive Order Reduces Total Of Classified Papers by Ari Shapiro, National Public Radio, December 30. "President Obama signed an executive order on Tuesday that sets new rules for when government agencies can keep documents classified. The order is full of provisions that should make government transparency activists swoon."
- Archivist of the United States Announces Establishment of the National Declassification Center, news release, December 30. In making the announcement, Mr. Ferriero said "The Federal government has reached a watershed moment in records declassification. The current backlog is so huge that Americans are being denied the ability to hold government officials accountable for their actions. By streamlining the declassification process, the NDC will usher in a new day in the world of access, allowing the National Archives to make more records available for public scrutiny much more quickly."
- Obama scores well for first year on ethics, say watchdog groups by Kevin Bogardus, The Hill, December 27. "President Barack Obama scores well among ethics watchdog groups in his first year in office, though they’d still like to see more from the president."
- Obama plan could limit records hidden from public by Pete Yost, Associated Press, December 20. "President Barack Obama plans to deal with a Dec. 31 deadline that automatically would declassify secrets in more than 400 million pages of Cold War-era documents by ordering government-wide changes that could sharply curb the number of new and old government records hidden from the public."
- Agencies to Ease Sharing of Clues on Threats by Cam Simpson and Siobhan Gorman, Wall Street Journal, December 15. "At issue are the reams of reports, guidelines and advisories produced across the government every day that aren't sensitive enough to get classifications such as "top secret," but are still too sensitive to make immediately available to the public. Right now, government agencies use a tangle of more than 100 categories for this sort of sensitive information. By one count, there are 117. Many of the categories have their own rules for how the information can be shared both inside and among agencies."
- Struggling Spy Satellite Agency Tries to Right Itself by Stew Magnuson, National Defense, January 2010. "The National Reconnaissance Office, the agency responsible for developing and launching the U.S. fleet of spy satellites, is embarking on an ambitious plan to right itself after years of cost overruns and program cancellations."
- Air marshal lawsuits sealed by Jim Hannah, Cincinnati Enquirer, December 12. "The U.S. Attorney's Office claims the suits contain sensitive security information, commonly referred to as SSI. It is a category of information protected by law that pertains to transportation security."
- Open government could present a challenge to intelligence agencies by Aliya Sternstein, NextGov, December 11. "The release of the open government directive could change intelligence agencies' policies that deny Internet access to nonclassified data that is currently available only in hard copy or only to government personnel, say some Washington transparency advocates."
- Lawmakers seek to stop reposting of TSA security documen by Jaikumar Vijayan, Computerworld, December 11. "Several lawmakers are asking Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano to examine if any legal remedies are available to stop Web sites from reposting a recently leaked Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security manual."
- Why an Open Government Matters by Norm Eisen and Beth Noveck, White House Open Government Initiative, December 9. "Openness promotes accountability by enabling journalists, researchers, government officials, and the public to scrutinize, question, and ultimately improve how government works."
- TSA Posts How To Guide for Terrorists on Internet, commentary by Rush Limbaugh, December 9. "What an unmitigated disaster this is. Every day it's something, every day is an unmitigated disaster. The original version of the manual still available online preserved by websites that monitor government secrecy and computer security, which tells you all you need to know about the motives of these sites, such as the so-called watchdogs at the Federation of American Scientists."
- Request for Comment on Public Access to Federally Funded Science and Technology Publications, Federal Register, December 9. "The Administration is exploring ways to leverage Federal investments to increase access to information that promises to stimulate scientific and technological innovation and competitiveness."
- Justice Department Issues FOIA Annual Report in More Accessible Format as Part of the President’s Initiative on Transparency and Open Government, news release, December 9. "As part of President Obama's initiative on Transparency and Open Government, the Department of Justice is setting a transparency precedent for the rest of government by releasing on its Web site the Department of Justice's Fiscal Year 2008 Annual Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Report in a more publicly accessible format."
- DoD Highlights Open Government Initiatives, news release, December 9. " The Department of Defense is undertaking broad efforts to increase the transparency of DoD operations and to make DoD information more easily accessible to the public as it implements the White House Open Government Directive issued yesterday."
- White House to release new gov't data collections by Pete Yost, Associated Press, December 8. "The White House on Tuesday instructed every federal agency to publish before the end of January at least three collections of "high value" government data on the Internet that never have been previously disclosed, an ambitious order to make the administration as transparent as President Barack Obama had promised it would be."
- Obama team launches its interactive 'openness' policy with online access by Dan Vergano, USA Today, December 8. "In today's directive, OMB Director Peter Orszag orders all federal agencies to 'create and institutionalize a culture of open government.' Orders include reporting how well agencies make data available on a White House site, www.whitehouse.gov/open, within 60 days, releasing three 'high-value' databases within 45 days and allowing public comment on data and openness efforts on department websites.
- TSA to Conduct Full Review After Leak of Sensitive Information by Alex Kingsbury, U.S. News and World Report, December 7. "TSA officials say that a "full review" is underway to determine how a 2008 copy of its standard operating procedures for all airport security checkpoints was released in its entirety on the Internet."
Older News: November 2009