from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2006, Issue No. 93
August 30, 2006

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The National Security Agency has instructed all of its employees to "actively" watch for unauthorized disclosures of classified information in the press and online, and to report such disclosures to the authorities.

"All NSA Components shall actively monitor media for the purpose of identifying unauthorized disclosures of classified NSA information," a March 20 NSA directive stated.

"Media" here is defined as "any print, electronic, or broadcast outlet (including blogs) where information is made available to the general public."

The new NSA policy on leaks was first reported by Siobhan Gorman in "NSA Strives to Plug Leaks," Baltimore Sun, July 23, 2006.

An annex to the NSA directive lists a series of questions to be asked about unauthorized disclosures in order to assess their significance, including: "Is the disclosed information accurate?" Has the information been requested under the Freedom of Information Act? "If yes, identify the requester."

In response to a FOIA request from the Federation of American Scientists earlier this month, the National Security Agency refused to release most of the new directive, which is marked "for official use only."

But the full text was obtained independently by Secrecy News.

See "Reporting Unauthorized Media Disclosures of Classified NSA/CSS Information," NSA/CSS Policy 1-27, 20 March 2006:


The policy infrastructure of U.S. intelligence community is defined by directives issued by the Director of National Intelligence on everything from security policy to roles and missions to relations with Congress.

The new system of policy statements, known as Intelligence Community Directives (ICDs), is the successor to the former Director of Central Intelligence Directives (DCIDs). The new ICDs are gradually supplementing, modifying or replacing the existing DCIDs.

The DNI has also issued a series of Intelligence Community Policy Memorandums (ICPMs), which are initial statements of policy that have not yet been formalized as an ICD.

Several ICDs and ICPMs have recently been released by the Office of the DNI in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Federation of American Scientists.

They cover such topics as open source intelligence, personnel security, the role of the IC analytic ombudsman, the roles of the various Deputy Directors of National Intelligence, and the use of portable electronic devices in secure facilities.

See Intelligence Community Directives:

and Intelligence Community Policy Memorandums:


Some notable recent reports of the Congressional Research Service include the following.

"Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law," updated August 11, 2006:

"U.S. Nuclear Weapons: Changes in Policy and Force Structure," updated August 10, 2006:

"NATO in Afghanistan: A Test of the Transatlantic Alliance," August 22, 2006:

"Radioactive Tank Waste from the Past Production of Nuclear Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress," updated June 13, 2006:


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

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