from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2004, Issue No. 79
September 7, 2004
PROPOSED FOIA EXEMPTION FOR SAT IMAGERY THREATENS ACCESS A proposed Freedom of Information Act exemption for commercial satellite imagery would severely restrict public access to a broad swath of unclassified government information. The proposed exemption, already approved in the Senate, awaits consideration this month in a House-Senate conference committee. The text of the measure, entitled "Nondisclosure of Certain Products of Commercial Satellite Operations," is here:
- PROPOSED FOIA EXEMPTION FOR SAT IMAGERY THREATENS ACCESS
- DOD SEEKS RAPID ATTRIBUTION OF DOMESTIC NUCLEAR ATTACK
- RUMSFELD ON LEAKS, OVERCLASSIFICATION
DOD SEEKS RAPID ATTRIBUTION OF DOMESTIC NUCLEAR ATTACKA Defense Department initiative known as Domestic Nuclear Event Assessment (DNEA) is pursuing the operational and analytical capacity to rapidly identify the origin of a nuclear explosion that occurs within the United States. "Attribution is essential for the United States to appropriately respond to a domestic nuclear event (DNE)," according to a newly released portion of a Defense Science Board (DSB) study. The DSB noted that "The requirement for attribution capability as a part of deterrence was reaffirmed in a recent National Security Presidential Directive," referring to NSPD 17. "The bottom line is that DNEA is the most comprehensive, coordinated, and organized approach ever undertaken by the U.S. Government to identify the perpetrators of an event using a nuclear or radiological dispersal device," the DSB report stated. "It is on schedule for mid-FY06 IOC [initial operational capability]." The previously unreported DNEA effort was described in Volume II-A of the Defense Science Board 2003 Summer Study on DoD Roles and Missions in Homeland Security, dated May 2004, which was made public last week. See the description of DNEA on pages 48-50 of the DSB report here (157 pages, 1.5 MB PDF file):
RUMSFELD ON LEAKS, OVERCLASSIFICATION"Our country has forgotten how to keep a secret," said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at an August 26 press briefing. "We have such a hemorrhaging of information that's classified. Every day in Washington, D.C., and around the world," he said. Secretary Rumsfeld went on to acknowledge the fact of overclassification, but drew no inferences as to its relationship to the leak problem: "Now it may very well be that a lot of information is classified that shouldn't be, or it's classified for a period longer than it should be. And maybe we've got to find a better way to manage that as well." See:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.
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