from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2017, Issue No. 68
September 25, 2017

Secrecy News Blog:


The October 2016 term of the US Supreme Court was widely seen as "diminished both with regard to volume and content" compared to prior years. But the upcoming term is likely to be different.

"With the Court already accepting over 30 cases, many of which raise difficult questions in various areas of law, the October 2017 term has the potential to be one of the most consequential in years," said the Congressional Research Service in a new report previewing some of those cases.

For example, "In a case that could decide whether cell phone users have a protected privacy interest in the trove of location data held by their wireless carriers, the Court in Carpenter v. United States will examine whether the government's warrantless collection of historical cell phone location data is constrained by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution." See Supreme Court October Term 2017: A Preview of Select Cases, September 19, 2017:

See also Supreme Court October Term 2016: A Review of Select Major Rulings, September 15, 2017:

Other new and updated Congressional Research Service reports that provide informative background on current topics of public policy interest include the following.

EPA's Role in Emergency Planning and Notification at Chemical Facilities, September 18, 2017:

Confederate Symbols: Relation to Federal Lands and Programs, September 20, 2017:

Patent Law: A Primer and Overview of Emerging Issues, September 21, 2017:

Chevron Deference: A Primer, September 19, 2017:

Normalization of the Federal Reserve's Balance Sheet, CRS Insight, September 20, 2017:

Hurricanes and Electricity Infrastructure Hardening, CRS Insight, September 20, 2017:

Wastewater Infrastructure: Overview, Funding, and Legislative Developments, September 22, 2017:

Oil Spills: Background and Governance, updated September 15, 2017:

Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief, updated September 19, 2017:

Kurds in Iraq Propose Controversial Referendum on Independence, CRS Insight, updated September 18, 2017:

Lebanon, updated September 20, 2017:

The State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report: Scope, Aid Restrictions, and Methodology, September 19, 2017:

Serbia: Background and U.S. Relations, September 19, 2017:

Iran's Nuclear Program: Tehran's Compliance with International Obligations, updated September 18, 2017:

Redeploying U.S. Nuclear Weapons to South Korea: Background and Implications in Brief, September 14, 2017:


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

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