from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2008, Issue No. 47
May 19, 2008
Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/
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- BETTER SECRECY FOR OPEN SOURCE INTEL COLLECTORS URGED
- OPEN SOURCE CENTER KEEPS PUBLIC IN THE DARK
- THE "RED-DEAD" CANAL, AND MORE FROM CRS
BETTER SECRECY FOR OPEN SOURCE INTEL COLLECTORS URGED
U.S. intelligence employees who are collecting open source intelligence online should do more to ensure that they are not identified as intelligence personnel, the House Armed Services Committee said in its new report on the 2009 Defense Authorization Act.
Failure to conceal the identity of open source intelligence collectors could conceivably lead to spoofing, disinformation or other forms of compromise.
"Efforts in this area [i.e., open source intelligence] will require collectors to operate in benign cyberspace domains, such as media websites and academic databases, as well as more hostile areas, such as foreign language blogging websites and even websites maintained by terrorist or state-actors groups. The committee is concerned about the ability of our adversaries to be able to track and attribute collection activities to U.S. and allied forces. Technology exists to provide non-attribution services to protect identities, especially source country of origin."The Committee generally welcomed the growing investment in open source intelligence.
"The committee urges the Secretary of Defense to ensure, through the use of all reasonable means, protection of government investigators involved in gathering open source intelligence. These means should include proven non-attribution services, as well as development of appropriate tactics, techniques and procedures that are incorporated into manuals and training programs."
"The committee recognizes that open source intelligence provides a critical complementary capability to traditional intelligence gathering and analysis. The committee is encouraged by the growing recognition within the military and intelligence communities of the value of open source intelligence which is punctuated by the establishment of the Open Source Center and the development of an Army field manual on open source intelligence."See "Non-attribution of open source intelligence research," excerpted from House Report 110-652, May 16:
A copy of the Army field manual on open source intelligence, which has not been approved for public release, was obtained by Secrecy News and is available here:
OPEN SOURCE CENTER KEEPS PUBLIC IN THE DARK
The ODNI Open Source Center has imposed some rather ferocious controls on its unclassified products in order to shield them from public access.
Even when its publications are not copyrighted, they are to be "treated as copyrighted" and in any case they "must not be disseminated to the public."
The following notice was recently posted on the password-protected OSC website:
"Content available via this website must not be disseminated to the public. All content available via this website is treated as copyrighted material and is provided for U.S. Government purposes only. Such purposes may include rebroadcast, redistribution, dissemination, copying, and hyper-linking provided it is for official U.S. Government purposes only. Any removal or redistribution of content outside of official U.S. Government channels requires the advance authorization of OSC. Information under the control of external websites to which OSC may provide hyperlinks may have separate restrictions and shall be accessed only in accordance with any usage policies and restrictions applicable to those sites."Meanwhile, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has scheduled a conference on open source intelligence on September 11-12 in Washington, DC which will be open to the public (advance registration required). See:
"Authorized system users may use the content available via this website to support official U.S. Government business and may disseminate this information to other U.S. Government components. In disseminating this content for other U.S Government component use, U.S. Government personnel must use a password-protected email system. System users who are partners (e.g. those who have a formal relationship with OSC), may also use the content, as authorized by OSC, to support their official business and must use a password-protected email system. Contractors with access to this site may only have that access during the time period as required to fulfill their contract responsibilities."
THE "RED-DEAD" CANAL, AND MORE FROM CRS
Noteworthy new reports from the Congressional Research Service that have not been made readily available to the public include the following.
"Defense Contracting in Iraq: Issues and Options for Congress," updated May 6, 2008:
"The National Security Council: An Organizational Assessment," updated April 21, 2008:
"Homeland Security Department: FY2009 Request for Appropriations," May 6, 2008:
"Japan's Nuclear Future: Policy Debate, Prospects, and U.S. Interests," May 9, 2008:
"Does Price Transparency Improve Market Efficiency? Implications of Empirical Evidence in Other Markets for the Health Sector," updated April 29, 2008:
"The "Red-Dead" Canal: Israeli-Arab Efforts to Restore the Dead Sea," May 13, 2008:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.
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