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ARCHIVES  March 2006, Week 3

ARCHIVES March 2006, Week 3

Subject:

GAO testimony on Sensitive but Unclassified Information plus "Secrecy News"

From:

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Reply-To:

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Date:

Wed, 15 Mar 2006 12:59:27 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (200 lines)

See
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d06369.pdf
for GAO's testimony statement from March 14, 2006, "Managing Sensitive 
Information: DOE and DOD Could Improve Their Policies and Oversight," 
GAO-06-531T.

Extract:

"Also, both DOE?s and DOD?s policies are unclear regarding at what 
point a document should be marked as OUO or FOUO ["Official Use Only" 
marking used at DOE and "For Official Use Only" marking at DOD] and 
what would be an inappropriate use of the OUO or FOUO designation. For 
example, OUO or FOUO designations should not be used to conceal agency 
mismanagement. In our view, this lack of clarity exists in both DOE and 
DOD because the agencies have put greater emphasis on managing 
classified information, which is more sensitive than OUO or FOUO.

In addition, while both DOE and DOD offer training on their OUO and 
FOUO policies, neither DOE nor DOD has an agencywide requirement that 
employees be trained before they designate documents as OUO or FOUO. 
Moreover, neither agency conducts oversight to assure that information 
is appropriately identified and marked as OUO or FOUO."

This testimony statement is among the items mentioned in the current 
issue of Secrecy News, copied below.

SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2006, Issue No. 34
March 15, 2006

Secrecy News Blog:  http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

Support Secrecy News:
http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp


**  A FOCUS ON "SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED" INFORMATION
**  MORE FROM CRS
**  SOME MORE INTELLIGENCE-RELATED PUBLICATIONS
**  IN THE PRESS


A FOCUS ON "SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED" INFORMATION

The government's use of the problematic "sensitive but unclassified"
(SBU) designation to restrict access to information that does not
warrant classification is coming under new scrutiny.

"Federal agencies do not use uniform definitions of SBU information or
have consistent policies for safeguarding or releasing it," a new
study from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) observed.

"This lack of uniformity and consistency raises issues about how to
identify SBU information, especially scientific and technical
information; how to keep it from those who would use it malevolently,
while allowing access for those who need to use it; and how to
develop uniform nondisclosure policies and penalties."

The 82-page CRS report presents a comprehensive treatment of this
vexing subject.  It surveys the origins of government SBU practices;
explores "contentious issues" involving SBU; and considers
recommendations to improve SBU policy.

CRS does not permit direct public access to its publications, but a
copy was obtained by Secrecy News.

See "'Sensitive But Unclassified' Information and Other Controls:
Policy and Options for Scientific and Technical Information," dated
February 15, 2006 (published March 14, 2006):

     http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/secrecy/RL33303.pdf

The Government Accountability Office yesterday released a report on
SBU policies at the Departments of Energy and Defense to coincide
with a House Government Reform Subcommittee hearing.  See "Managing
Sensitive Information: Departments of Energy and Defense Policies and
Oversight Could Be Improved," Report No. GAO-06-369, March 2006:

     http://www.fas.org/sgp/gao/sensitive.pdf

The National Security Archive conducted its own survey of SBU policies
at federal agencies and released a report entitled "Pseudo-Secrets:
A Freedom of Information Audit of the U.S. Government's Policies on
Sensitive Unclassified Information":

     http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB183/press.htm


MORE FROM CRS

Some other notable publications from the Congressional Research
Service include the following.

"Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses," updated March 10, 2006:

     http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL32048.pdf

"Homeland Security: Protecting Airliners from Terrorist Missiles,"
updated February 16, 2006:

     http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RL31741.pdf

"Military Aviation: Issues and Options for Combating Terrorism and
Counterinsurgency," January 27, 2006:

     http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL32737.pdf


SOME MORE INTELLIGENCE-RELATED PUBLICATIONS

"Intelligence in the Civil War" is the topic of a new study published
by the Central Intelligence Agency.  See:

     http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/civilwar/docs/Civil_War.htm

The technical challenges facing the National Geospatial-Intelligence
Agency (NGA) and a research agenda to help meet those challenges were
described in a new report from the National Research Council.  See
"Priorities for GEOINT Research at the National Geospatial
Intelligence Agency," 2006:

     http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11601.html


IN THE PRESS

President Bush this week said that a newspaper -- the Los Angeles
Times -- had published details of a new technology used to defend
against improvised explosive devices, and that jihadists used details
from that newspaper story to develop techniques for defeating the new
technology.  Noah Shachtman of DefenseTech.org argues that there is
reason to doubt the President's account.  See "The Enemy is Me,"
March 14:

     http://www.defensetech.org/archives/002238.html

"In another sign of increasing government secrecy, the Federal
Aviation Administration has removed from its Web site the transcript
of a heated public hearing during which pilots ridiculed no-fly zones
that have surrounded Washington since 9/11," writes Lance Gay of
Scripps Howard News Service.  See "FAA yanks potentially 'sensitive'
information from Web site," March 15:

    http://tinyurl.com/zedcv

If the New York Times could be prosecuted under the Espionage Act for
having disclosed the NSA warrantless surveillance activity, as some
enthusiasts have proposed, then who else might be guilty of a similar
offense?  That question was posed by Jack Shafer in "A Gitmo for
Journos: Who besides the New York Times could be prosecuted under
the Espionage Act?", Slate, March 14:

     http://www.slate.com/id/2138058/




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

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, send email to
     [log in to unmask]
with "subscribe" in the body of the message.

To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a blank email message to
     [log in to unmask]

OR email your request to [log in to unmask]

Secrecy News is archived at:
     http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/index.html

Secrecy News is available in blog format at:
     http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

SUPPORT Secrecy News with a donation here:
     http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp

_______________________
Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
web:    www.fas.org/sgp/index.html
email:  [log in to unmask]
voice:  (202) 454-4691

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