from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
October 5, 2000


Legislation to criminalize “leaks” of classified information, approved by the Senate Monday as part of the Intelligence Authorization Act of FY 2001 (H.R. 4392, section 303), is drawing renewed attention that could still lead to reconsideration of the ill-conceived measure.

The Senate action “is an overly broad proposal that would deprive the public of information vital to national debates on serious issues,” the New York Times argued in an editorial today that may serve as a bellwether of informed opinion. The Times editorial may be found here:

The 2001 intelligence authorization bill containing the “leak” statute now goes to a House-Senate conference that is scheduled for next Tuesday evening.


The world famous secret base at Groom Lake, Nevada, shall continue to be exempt from public disclosure requirements, President Clinton has determined.

“I find that it is in the paramount interest of the United States to exempt the United States Air Force's operating location near Groom Lake, Nevada ... from any applicable requirement for the disclosure to unauthorized persons of classified information concerning that operating location,” the President declared.

The Groom Lake facility was the site of alleged environmental crimes involving improper disposal of hazardous waste. It was first exempted by President Clinton from the disclosure provisions of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in 1995.

The new Presidential determination, dated September 19 and published in the Federal Register today, is posted here:

In 1996, the General Accounting Office found that environmental oversight and enforcement at classified federal facilities was “limited.” See:


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