Secrecy and Security News
Newer News: July 2012
- FOIA request forces DoJ to reveal National Security Letter templates by Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, June 28. "As the result of a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the ACLU, the Department of Justice has revealed, for the first time, the types of secret letters that the government can send out to ISPs and other tech companies being asked to reveal personal data about their users and customers who are being investigated for national security reasons."
- Why leaks are good for you by Jack Shafer, Reuters, June 27. "Every leak of classified information benefits somebody. With maybe one exception, I'd say that the recent sluice of leaks that has opened up and been reported in the press benefits you."
- Secretive Air Force Space Plane's Purpose Questioned by Leonard David, Space.com, June 25. "While inquiring minds may want to know what's next for X-37B, military and space analysts contacted by SPACE.com remain perplexed."
- Intelligence chief takes new steps to crack down on leaks by Jeremy Herb, The Hill, June 25. "Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Monday announced new steps intended to cut down on leaks after a furious backlash from Congress."
- DNI Clapper Announces Steps to Deter and Detect Unauthorized Disclosures, news release, June 25. "Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper announced today two immediate steps to help protect critical national security information from unauthorized disclosures."
- Intelligence Community Aims to Get Tough on Leaks by Eli Lake, The Daily Beast, June 21. "The day before the Justice Department announced a new criminal investigation into national security leaks, the intelligence community issued tougher guidelines of its own for protecting classified secrets."
- Obama asserts privilege he once derided by Brian Hughes, Washington Examiner, June 20. "President Obama's assertion of executive privilege Wednesday to prevent the release of documents tied to the botched Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation is just the latest example of his unmet pledge to 'usher in a new era of open government,' according to government watchdogs and Republican critics."
- Washington's 5 Worst Arguments for Keeping Secrets From You by Spencer Ackerman, Wired Danger Room, June 20. "The government's vast secrecy bureaucracy does two things with great frequency. The first, of course, is keeping secrets. The second is devising elaborate reasons why you can't know what those secrets are."
- Drone strikes: activists seek to lift lid on open secret of targeted killings by Karen McVeigh, The Guardian, June 19. "The CIA's covert targeted killing programme will come under fresh scrutiny on Wednesday, the deadline for Barack Obama's administration to respond to a lawsuit over the agency's refusal to confirm or deny its existence."
- NSA: It Would Violate Your Privacy to Say if We Spied on You by Spencer Ackerman, Wired Danger Room, June 18. "The surveillance experts at the National Security Agency won't tell two powerful United States Senators how many Americans have had their communications picked up by the agency as part of its sweeping new counterterrorism powers. The reason: it would violate your privacy to say so." (letter from IC Inspector General).
- Lawmakers caution against targeting journalists in security leak crackdown by Jeremy Herb, The Hill DEFCON blog, June 17. "As Congress plans to craft new laws to crack down on national security leaks in the wake of a series of high-profile disclosures, lawmakers say they aren't looking to target the journalists who reported and published the leaked information."
- Feds have interviewed more than 100 people in two leak investigations by Sari Horwitz, Washington Post, June 16. "Federal authorities have interviewed more than 100 people in two separate investigations into the public disclosure of classified national security information, the start of a process that could take months or even years, according to officials familiar with the probes."
- Obama Acknowledges U.S. Is Fighting Groups Tied to Al Qaeda in Somalia and Yemen by Peter Baker, New York Times, June 16. "Opening the window just a little further into his secret war on terrorists, President Obama publicly acknowledged for the first time on Friday that United States military forces had taken 'direct action” against groups affiliated with Al Qaeda in Somalia and Yemen."
- Drones over America. Are they spying on you? by Brad Knickerbocker, Christian Science Monitor, June 16. "Thousands of drones could be routinely flying over the United States within the next ten years. They can help with law enforcement and border control, but they also raise questions about invasion of privacy."
- Evolving US way of war means less brawn, more guile, and reliance on drones, computer attacks by Kimberly Dozier, Associated Press, June 16. "After a decade of costly conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American way of war is evolving toward less brawn, more guile."
- Does Leaking Secrets Damage National Security? by Tom Gjelten, National Public Radio, June 12. "Last week's assignment of two federal prosecutors to investigate disclosures of national security information might have been the first shot in a new war on leaks."
- Sometimes leaking classified information is perfectly fine by Steven Aftergood, Reuters, June 11. "There is no doubt such a thing as a wrongful and unlawful disclosure of classified information, but it seems that there are also wise, prudent and appropriate disclosures of classified information."
- White House backs Holder's decision to appoint U.S. attorneys to probe leaks by Shaun Waterman and Susan Crabtree, Washington Times, June 11. "The White House is standing by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s decision to appoint two U.S. attorneys to investigate the recent spate of national security leaks, rejecting Republican arguments that only an outside counsel would be independent enough for such a task."
- Leak probe's risks for administration depend on two veteran prosecutors by Robert Barnes, Washington Post, June 11. "The independence and speed of two veteran prosecutors named by the Justice Department to investigate leaks of national security information could determine whether the controversy settles quickly or blossoms into an election-year problem for President Obama."
- For U.S. Inquiries on Leaks, a Difficult Road to Prosecution by Charlie Savage, New York Times, June 10. "Anger over leaks of government secrets and calls for prosecution have once again engulfed the nation's capital. Under bipartisan pressure for a crackdown, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Friday announced the appointment of two top prosecutors to lead investigations into recent disclosures."
- Statement of Attorney General Holder on Appointment of U.S. Attorneys to Investigate Possible Leaks of Classified Information, June 8. "Today, I assigned U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald C. Machen Jr. and U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein to lead criminal investigations into recent instances of possible unauthorized disclosures of classified information."
- Remarks by the President on Leaks of Classified Information, June 8. "The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It's wrong."
- The 'leak' wars by Josh Gerstein, Politico, June 8. "President Barack Obama's administration has unleashed an unprecedented wave of prosecutions over leaks of national security secrets. Now, he's the political beneficiary of several major breaches in the wall of secrecy."
- Toobin: Obama has been 'very tough' on leakers by Ashley Hayes, CNN, June 7. "The same Obama administration that is under fire from critics for allegedly leaking classified information has used a 1917 law to target suspected leakers in twice as many cases as all previous presidential administrations combined."
- U.S. Attacks, Online and From the Air, Fuel Secrecy Debate by Scott Shane, New York Times, June 7. "The protest focused on the dangers of leaks that the Congressional leaders said would alert adversaries to American military and intelligence tactics. But secrecy, too, has a cost -- one that is particularly striking in the case of drones and cyberattacks."
- CIA memoirs offer revelations and settle scores among spies by Ian Shapira, Washington Post, June 5. "In interviews, many of the spies-turned-authors say they are tired of ceding their stories to journalists or government officials. They want to correct what they contend are mistakes in the public domain about the work they orchestrated. Or they want to expose the agency's wrongdoings."
Older News: May 2012