from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2009, Issue No. 31
March 31, 2009
Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/
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- INTERIM IG REPORT ON SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM RELEASED
- OPEN SOURCE CENTER VIEWS PRC MEDIA
- ARMY BLOCKS PUBLIC ACCESS TO INTEL JOURNAL
INTERIM IG REPORT ON SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM RELEASED
When Congress amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act last year, it enacted a requirement that the Inspectors General of agencies that participated in the Bush Administration's warrantless surveillance program must prepare a comprehensive review of that program, which was conducted from 2001 to 2007 outside of the FISA legal framework that normally regulates intelligence surveillance.
The final report of the Inspectors General, due in July 2009, is supposed to address "all of the facts necessary to describe the establishment, implementation, product, and use of the product of the Program," among other things. It "will include both unclassified and classified volumes."
An interim report, completed last fall, has just been released. The three-page letter report does not present any new findings, but rather lays out the scope of the ongoing review and the division of labor among five agency Inspectors General.
The subject matter of the review ranges widely from legal assessments of the Program (DoJ) to its technical operation (NSA) to communications with private-sector entities concerning the Program (ODNI) to the involvement of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (DoD) and the threat assessments supporting reauthorization of the Program (CIA).
Furthermore, "Each of the IG teams will be alert to other matters ... that should be examined as part of a comprehensive review of the Program," the interim report states.
The newly disclosed interim report was originally submitted to Congress in classified form last September. An unclassified version of the report (which entailed the removal of one sentence) was prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee in November. But the unclassified report was only approved for public release this week, in response to a request from Secrecy News.
See the interim report on the President's Surveillance Program, dated November 24, 2008, here:
OPEN SOURCE CENTER VIEWS PRC MEDIA
The structure and operation of China's growing news media sector were examined by the U.S. Intelligence Community's Open Source Center in two previously unpublished reports.
"Sweeping social and economic changes triggered by more than two decades of reform in China have led to equally sweeping changes in China's vast, state-controlled media environment, particularly in the quantity and diversity of media sources and the development of the Internet," according to a 2007 OSC survey.
At the same time, however, "all pertinent information continues to be filtered through party censors to ensure that it is consistent with official policy. The party exercises especially tight control over the core mainstream media which deliver domestic and international news along with politically sensitive information."
See "PRC Media Guide," Open Source Center, March 21, 2007:
The state organs that supervise and regulate Chinese media were discussed recently in "PRC State Council Websites Overseeing Media," OSC Media Aid, March 17, 2009:
Like most other OSC products, these reports have not been approved for public release. Copies were obtained by Secrecy News.
ARMY BLOCKS PUBLIC ACCESS TO INTEL JOURNAL
The Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin (MIPB), a U.S. Army journal devoted to intelligence policy and practice, has been removed from online public access and transferred behind a password-protected Army portal.
The former MIPB website states that "The MIPB is now being hosted on the Intelligence Knowledge Network (IKN). (AKO account required)."
AKO (Army Knowledge Online) accounts can only be obtained by military and contractor personnel.
The MIPB, which is unclassified, has long been available on the world wide web and has even been sold commercially. Back issues from 1995 to 2005 are available online from the FAS website, though no longer from the Army, here:
In an attempt to reverse the removal of the latest MIPB issues from the public domain, the Federation of American Scientists today filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Army seeking release of the now-sequestered publication.
"Our intention is to restore public access to the MIPB by posting recent issues on the website of the Federation of American Scientists. Alternatively, we request that you post them on an Army or Army-affiliated web site that is publicly accessible." See:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.
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