from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2014, Issue No. 12
February 7, 2014

Secrecy News Blog:


It was announced today that Chief Justice Roberts has appointed Judge James E. Boasberg of the DC District Court to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for a seven year term beginning in May 2014. He will replace the outgoing Presiding Judge Reggie Walton, whose term expires in May. The Chief Justice also appointed Judge Richard C. Tallman of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review.

The current membership of the FISA Courts can be found here:

Background information on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and potential changes to its operations were discussed in a new report from the Congressional Research Service. See Reform of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Courts: Procedural and Operational Changes, January 16, 2014:

Relatedly from CRS, see Introducing a Public Advocate into the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act's Courts: Select Legal Issues, October 25, 2013:

Other new and updated CRS reports that Congress has withheld from online public distribution include the following.

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: Security and Human Rights Issues, January 26, 2014:

The National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 and Beyond: Detainee Matters, January 27, 2014:

Cuba: U.S. Policy and Issues for the 113th Congress, January 29, 2014:

Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances, February 4, 2014:

Mexico: Background and U.S. Relations, January 30, 2014:

Status of Mexican Trucks in the United States: Frequently Asked Questions, January 3, 2014:

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background, Legislation, and Policy Issues, January 23, 2014:


The diverse economic sanctions imposed on Iran by U.S. law or executive order, and the feasibility of lifting those sanctions, are tabulated and presented in a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

"The sudden possibility that the United States may ease financial sector sanctions, and perhaps commit to an eventual dismantling of the entire panoply of economic restrictions on Iran affecting aid, trade, shipping, banking, insurance, underwriting, and support in the international financial institutions, arrives at a time when Congress has been considering additional sanctions on Iran."

"This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions."

A copy was obtained by Secrecy News. See Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions, February 4, 2014:

Other new or newly updated CRS reports on Middle East-related topics include the following.

Iran Sanctions, January 31, 2014:

Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations, February 6, 2014:

Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights, February 5, 2014:

The Palestinians: Background and U.S. Relations, January 31, 2014:

Kuwait: Security, Reform, and U.S. Policy, January 30, 2014:

Qatar: Background and U.S. Relations, January 30, 2014:

Jordan: Background and U.S. Relations, January 27, 2014:


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

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