from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2018, Issue No. 34
May 3, 2018
Secrecy News Blog: https://fas.org/blogs/secrecy/
- HUNDREDS OF CIA EMAIL ACCOUNTS DEEMED PERMANENT RECORDS
- NATO'S APPROACH TO DEFENSE INNOVATION, & MORE FROM CRS
HUNDREDS OF CIA EMAIL ACCOUNTS DEEMED PERMANENT RECORDS
In a significant expansion of intelligence record preservation, email from more than 426 Central Intelligence Agency email accounts will now be captured as permanent historical records. A plan to that effect was approved by the National Archives last week.
In 2014, the CIA had said that it intended to preserve the emails of only 22 senior officials, a startlingly low number considering the size and importance of the Agency. The National Archives initially recommended approval of the CIA proposal.
But as soon as the CIA proposal was made public, it generated a wave of opposition from members of Congress and public interest groups.
"In our experience, email messages are essential to finding CIA records that may not exist in other so-called permanent records at the CIA," wrote Senators Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss in November 2014, when they were chair and vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "Applying the new proposal to all but the 22 most senior CIA officials means the new policy would allow the destruction of important records and messages of a number of top CIA officials."
In light of such objections, NARA agreed to reassess the CIA plan. It was officially withdrawn by CIA in 2016.
The new plan, submitted by CIA in July 2017 and approved by NARA on April 24, extends email record preservation much deeper into the CIA bureaucracy, requiring retention of the email of many program managers and office directors that were missing from the original plan.
The newly approved plan identifies 426 accounts subject to capture as permanent records. However, a number of other email accounts covered by the new plan are classified "due to the names of some offices noted on the form as well as the number of accounts in certain categories," said Meg Phillips, external affairs liaison for NARA. The total number is therefore greater than 426.
The CIA's new plan "resolves the majority of comments or concerns raised during the public comment period" regarding the previous plan, Ms. Phillips said.
NATO'S APPROACH TO DEFENSE INNOVATION, & MORE FROM CRS
"In the future, NATO might have to rely as much on its agility and capacity for innovation as it has previously relied on its military technological advantage," says a new report from the Congressional Research Service that reviews NATO's response to the current threat environment and the changing technological landscape. See Transatlantic Perspectives on Defense Innovation: Issues for Congress, April 24, 2018:
Other new and updated publications from the Congressional Research Service this week include the following.
Law Enforcement Access to Overseas Data Under the CLOUD Act, CRS Legal Sidebar, May 2, 2018:
The Travel Ban Case and Nationwide Injunctions, CRS Legal Sidebar, May 2, 2018:
Federal Disaster Assistance After Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Gustav, and Ike, updated May 1, 2018:
Issues in International Corporate Taxation: The 2017 Revision (P.L. 115-97), May 1, 2018:
CRS Products on North Korea, updated May 1, 2018:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.
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