from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2005, Issue No. 17
February 15, 2005


A federal appeals court panel today said that two reporters must respond to a grand jury subpoena requiring them to identify their confidential sources or else they may be jailed for contempt.

Judith Miller of the New York Times and Matthew Cooper of Time Magazine have no First Amendment protection from a grand jury subpoena seeking the identity of sources for their reporting on the matter of former covert CIA officer Valerie Plame, the court said.

The decision is posted here:

In response to this and similar cases, new legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate to limit the government's authority to compel disclosure of confidential sources.

"This important legislation will provide reporters with protection from being compelled to disclose sources of information in any Federal criminal or civil case without meeting strict criteria," said Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), who introduced the "Free Flow of Information Act" (HR 581) with Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA).

"It is important that we ensure reporters certain rights and abilities to seek sources and report appropriate information without fear of intimidation or imprisonment," said Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), who introduced a companion bill (S. 340) in the Senate. "This includes the right to refuse to reveal confidential sources."

See the introduction of the "Free Flow of Information Act" here:


The decision by a federal court last week to categorically deny release under the Freedom of Information Act of historical intelligence budget data from 1947 to 1970 (SN, 02/11/05) was challenged today in a motion to amend the decision.

The decision included a technical error, the Federation of American Scientists argued, because it failed to require the CIA to disclose the 1963 CIA budget figure even though the court found that that number -- $550 million -- was not exempt from disclosure.

The possibility of an appeal of the decision as a whole remains open. See the FAS motion to amend here:

The decision was reported by Ryan Lozar of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press here:


The challenge of legislative or parliamentary oversight of intelligence and security agencies is explored in a new study published last week by the Parliament of Norway.

Based on a comparative analysis of oversight practices in liberal democracies in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia, the authors derive some proposed legislative standards and best practices.

See "Making Intelligence Accountable: Legal Standards and Best Practice for Oversight of Intelligence Agencies" by Hans Born and Ian Leigh (editors), February 2005, here:


A new U.S. Army War College report provides an introduction to the practice of deception as a tactic in military and political conflict.

The report, which does not represent official Army policy, surveys a variety of past and present instances of deception and proposes some broad general principles.

See "Deception 101 -- Primer on Deception" by Joseph W. Caddell, U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, December 2004:


Some newly updated publications of the Congressional Research Service obtained by Secrecy News include the following.

"Tactical Aircraft Modernization: Issues for Congress," updated January 19, 2005:

"Latin America: Terrorism Issues," updated January 14, 2005:

"Intelligence Issues for Congress," updated February 1, 2005:

"Tracking Current Federal Legislation and Regulations: A Guide to Basic Sources," updated January 13, 2005:

"Social Security Reform," updated February 4, 2005:


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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