Secrecy and Security News
Newer News: April 2018
- Building and Sustaining Democratic Legitimacy in Intelligence Policy, panel discussion at the University of Texas at Austin, Intelligence Studies Project, March 29, featuring Matthew Waxman, Steven Aftergood, Ben Huebner, Eric Schmidt, and Gregory Treverton.
- USA v. Terry J. Albury: Felony Information charging Unauthorized Disclosure of National Defense Information, March 27. Alleging that the defendant "did knowingly and willfully communicate, deliver, and transmit those aforesaid documents and infonnation to a person not entitled to receive it, to wit, a reporter for a national media organization."
- Move to open CRS reports spotlights agency's climate debate by Arianna Skibell, E&E News, March 27. "The move to expand access to CRS reports could invite increased scrutiny of an agency that generally tries to avoid the spotlight and force the research service to grapple with how it handles controversial topics such as climate change."
- US nuclear stockpile decreasing in size, but not capability by Daniel Cebul, Defense News, March 27. "The number of nuclear warheads kept in U.S. stockpiles decreased by nearly 200 since the end of the Obama administration, according to information released by the Defense Department in response to a request from the Federation of American Scientists."
- In Trump's first year, the U.S. nuclear arsenal shrank to its smallest size since early 1956 by Philip Bump, Washington Post, March 23. "The Federation of American Scientists this week released new figures on the size of the U.S. stockpile. In 2017, the size of the stockpile dropped by 196 and now stands at 3,822 weapons -- the lowest since early 1956."
- FY 2017 nuclear stockpile numbers declassified, letter from Department of Energy, March 23. "The information requested was declassified jointly by the DoD and Department of Energy on March 13, 2018."
- Long-Proprietary Congressional Research Reports Will Now Be Made Public by Charles S. Clark, Government Executive, March 23. "Lawmakers who long protected their right to control reports from the Congressional Research Service now face a new era of full disclosure."
- Wyden, Paul, Welch, Sensenbrenner Introduce Legislation to Increase Transparency of Intelligence Spending, news release, March 23. "By operating secret programs funded by secret budgets, our national intelligence agencies enjoy a blank check as far as the American taxpayers are concerned," Wyden said. "With little to no public oversight, it is even more important that Americans have at least some sense of whether they're getting what they paid for. Requiring the disclosure of these budget requests is the first step in achieving greater accountability and transparency of these agencies."
- Welch, Wyden Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Transparency of Intelligence Spending, news release, March 23. "Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), joined by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), have introduced legislation to force the president to disclose the topline annual budget request for each of the 16 federal agencies conducting intelligence activities."
- DoD Insider Threat Record System: Notice of Modification, Federal Register, March 21. "The system is used to analyze, monitor, and audit insider threat information for insider threat detection and mitigation within DoD on threats that insiders may pose to DoD and U.S. Government installations, facilities, personnel, missions, or resources."
- FAS petitions DOE for declassification of Highly Enriched Uranium inventory, March 19. "The HEU inventory was last declassified by the Obama Administration in 2016, reflecting the total HEU inventory as of September 30, 2013. We are now requesting that this information be updated to the present, or at least to a more recent date."
- DoD renews legislative proposal to exempt certain tactics, techniques and procedures from release under FOIA, proposal for the FY2019 defense authorization act, transmitted March 16. "This proposal would authorize the Department of Defense to withhold sensitive, but unclassified, military tactics, techniques, or procedures, and military rules of engagement, from release to the public under the Freedom of Information Act if public disclosure could reasonably be expected to provide an operational military advantage to an adversary."
- 'A Conceptual Error' -- Why the Pentagon Confuses Spies With Whistleblowers, Sputnik News, March 15. "A newly-available DOD report on the last 70 years of spying against the US includes whistleblowers such as Chelsea Manning and John Kiriakou alongside spies like Robert Hanssen. According to one analyst this is a 'conceptual error' that fails to distinguish between different motives for distributing classified information."
- Former Defense Contractor Convicted of Unlawfully Retaining Classified Information, Justice Department news release, March 5. "Weldon Marshall, 43, of the Dallas, Texas area, entered a plea today of guilty to one count of unlawfully retaining national defense information."
- Did The Dossier Have To Be 'Verified' For FBI To Use It For Carter Page FISA? by Chuck Ross, The Daily Caller, March 4. "National security experts and former FBI officials say that verification of each and every fact mentioned in FISA applications is not necessarily required."
- Chief of staff expresses regret over security protocol by Tara McKelvey, BBC News, March 3. "In an unusually frank conversation with reporters, the White House chief of staff tries to reset the narrative on how the White House wrestle with the issue of security clearances."
- DOD now treating missile defense flight test plans -- once public -- as classified by Jason Sherman, Inside Defense, March 1 (sub. req'd). "The Missile Defense Agency's fiscal year 2019 budget request notes that details about ballistic missile defense tests -- previously included as part of budget justification material provided to Congress -- are now only available in a classified document."
- NARA to consolidate classified records from presidential libraries, notice from NARA chief operating officer Jay Bosanko, March 1. "We are making this change to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the safeguarding and the declassification of this material and in light of resource challenges."
Older News: February 2018