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Did CIA Violate the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause?

The Central Intelligence Agency may have violated the Speech or Debate clause of the U.S. Constitution by performing an unauthorized search of Senate Intelligence Committee computers, according to an analysis by the Congressional Research Service. The Speech or Debate clause (in Article I, Section 6, Clause 1 of the Constitution) generally immunizes members of Congress […]

The post Did CIA Violate the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause? appears on Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy.

Some Legislators Seek More Intelligence Budget Disclosure

Now that annual disclosure of the intelligence budget total has become routine, some legislators are seeking more transparency on intelligence spending. As anticipated, the requested U.S. intelligence budget for Fiscal Year 2015 that was submitted to Congress this week fell below the current year’s level and continued a decline from the post-9/11 high that it […]

The post Some Legislators Seek More Intelligence Budget Disclosure appears on Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy.

Disclosure of FISA Court Opinions: Legal Issues (CRS)

Could Congress legally compel the executive branch to disclose classified opinions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court?  Maybe not, a new analysis from the Congressional Research Service concludes. The CRS report — entitled “Disclosure of FISA Court Opinions: Select Legal Issues” — has little to do with FISA Court opinions in particular. It is an […]

The post Disclosure of FISA Court Opinions: Legal Issues (CRS) appears on Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy.

McCain Proposes New Select Committee on NSA Leaks

A resolution introduced yesterday by Sen. John McCain would establish a new Senate Select Committee to investigate the unauthorized disclosures of classified information on National Security Agency collection programs and their implications for national policy. The McCain resolution is framed broadly and touches on many issues besides leaks, including intelligence policy, congressional oversight, the role […]

The post McCain Proposes New Select Committee on NSA Leaks appears on Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy.

DNI Clapper: Transparency is the Way Forward

The primary lesson that emerges from the unauthorized disclosures of classified intelligence information by Edward Snowden is that U.S. intelligence agencies must be more transparent in their operations, said Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper yesterday. “The major takeaway for us, certainly for me, from the past several months is that we must lean […]

The post DNI Clapper: Transparency is the Way Forward appears on Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy.

GAO to Issue Report on Intelligence Contractors

The Government Accountability Office will issue a long-awaited report on intelligence community contractors in the next few weeks, a congressional official said. The GAO report is an unclassified version of a classified assessment that was completed last year.  According to a statement of work obtained by Secrecy News in 2012, the GAO project was to […]

The post GAO to Issue Report on Intelligence Contractors appears on Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy.

Sen. McCain Blasts Secret Legislation on Drone Policy

In a striking new example of secret lawmaking, a classified provision in the consolidated appropriations bill passed by Congress last week prohibited the transfer of CIA drone operations to the Department of Defense. “This is outrageous,” said Sen. John McCain of the secret legislative move, “and it should not have happened.” The secret provision was […]

The post Sen. McCain Blasts Secret Legislation on Drone Policy appears on Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy.

Senate Benghazi Report Urges Better Open Source Analysis

The U.S. intelligence community needs to expand the collection and analysis of open source information, according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report on the 2012 attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. But that recommendation ironically comes just as the CIA has terminated public and scholarly access to its open source collection of foreign news […]

The post Senate Benghazi Report Urges Better Open Source Analysis appears on Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy.

GAO Oversight of NSA: A Neglected Option

Years ago, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, conducted routine audits and investigations of the National Security Agency, such that the two agencies were in “nearly continuous contact” with one another. In the post-Snowden era, GAO could perform that oversight function once again. “NSA advises that the GAO maintains a team permanently […]

The post GAO Oversight of NSA: A Neglected Option appears on Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy.

DoD Reports to Congress to be Posted Online

In a slight but welcome incremental reform, reports to Congress from the Department of Defense are to be posted online, according to a provision in the pending FY 2014 defense authorization act. Up to now, such reports were to be made available to the public “upon request” (10 USC 122a). But under section 181 of […]

The post DoD Reports to Congress to be Posted Online appears on Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy.