from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2013, Issue No. 54
June 11, 2013

Secrecy News Blog:


As a new wave of classified documents published by news organizations appeared online over the past week, the Department of Defense instructed employees and contractors that they must neither seek out nor download classified material that is in the public domain.

"Classified information, whether or not already posted on public websites, disclosed to the media, or otherwise in the public domain remains classified and must be treated as such until it is declassified by an appropriate U.S. government authority," wrote Timothy A. Davis, Director of Security in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence), in a June 7 memorandum.

"DoD employees and contractors shall not, while accessing the web on unclassified government systems, access or download documents that are known or suspected to contain classified information."

"DoD employees or contractors who seek out classified information in the public domain, acknowledge its accuracy or existence, or proliferate the information in any way will be subject to sanctions," the memorandum said.


"If President Obama really welcomed a debate [on intelligence surveillance policy], there are all kinds of things he could do in terms of declassification and disclosure to foster it. But he's not doing any of them." At least that's my perception. See "Debate on Secret Data Looks Unlikely, Partly Due to Secrecy" by Scott Shane and Jonathan Weisman, New York Times, June 11:

"As the administration and some in Congress vent their anger about leaks to The Post and to Britain's Guardian newspaper, officials have only themselves to blame," wrote Dana Milbank in the Washington Post today. "It is precisely their effort to hide such a vast and consequential program from the American public that caused this pressure valve to burst." See "Edward Snowden's NSA leaks are the backlash of too much secrecy," June 11:

I discussed some aspects of the latest surveillance controversy on C-SPAN's Washington Journal today, available here:


New and updated reports from the Congressional Research Service that have not been made readily available to the public include the following.

Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Background and Current Developments, June 10, 2013:

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Countries: Comparative Trade and Economic Analysis, June 10, 2013:

Carbon Capture and Sequestration: Research, Development, and Demonstration at the U.S. Department of Energy, June 10, 2013:

Unapproved Genetically Modified Wheat Discovered in Oregon: Status and Implications, June 7, 2013:

Social Security Reform: Legal Analysis of Social Security Benefit Entitlement Issues, June 7, 2013:

Social Security: The Trust Fund, June 4, 2013:

Budget Issues Shaping a Farm Bill in 2013, June 3, 2013:

Earthquake Risk and U.S. Highway Infrastructure: Frequently Asked Questions, June 5, 2013:

Filling U.S. Senate Vacancies: Perspectives and Contemporary Developments, June 7, 2013:

Guatemala: Political, Security, and Socio-Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations, May 16, 2013:

"Fast Track" Legislative Procedures Governing Congressional Consideration of a Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) Commission Report, June 10, 2013:

Gun Control Proposals in the 113th Congress: Universal Background Checks, Gun Trafficking, and Military Style Firearms, June 7, 2013:

Homelessness: Targeted Federal Programs and Recent Legislation, June 7, 2013:

Moldova: Background and U.S. Policy, June 5, 2013:


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

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