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ODNI Rethinks Secrecy and Openness in Intelligence

By leaking classified intelligence documents, Edward Snowden transformed public awareness of the scale and scope of U.S. intelligence surveillance programs. But his actions are proving to be no less consequential for national security secrecy policy. “These leaks have forced the Intelligence Community to rethink our approach to transparency and secrecy,” said Robert S. Litt, General […]

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Stephen Kim Pleads Guilty to Leak Charge

Former State Department contractor Stephen Kim pleaded guilty on Friday to one count of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information to a Fox News reporter. Following a sentencing hearing in April, he is expected to serve a 13 month term in prison. (WashPost, NYT, Politico). The plea was an abrupt departure from previous defense strategy. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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HPSCI Seeks “Continuous Evaluation” of Security-Cleared Employees

Recent unauthorized disclosures of classified information might have been prevented if U.S. intelligence agencies “continuously evaluated the backgrounds of employees and contractors,” according to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). In its new report on the FY 2014 intelligence authorization bill, the Committee would require intelligence agencies to “continuously determine whether their employees […]

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Leaks Divide Supporters, Opponents of Media Shield Bill

A bill that is intended to strengthen the ability of reporters to protect their confidential sources would encourage damaging leaks of classified information, congressional opponents argue. The Free Flow of Information Act (S. 987) was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 12 by a vote of 13-5.  The Committee’s report on the bill, […]

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Stephen Kim Leak Case Heats Up

Although former State Department contractor Stephen Jin-Woo Kim will not go to trial before next year on charges of leaking classified information to Fox News reporter James Rosen, the pre-trial maneuvering by the prosecution and the defense is accelerating. Prosecutors notified the court last week that their theories regarding the defendant’s motive for allegedly leaking […]

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Dept of Defense to Report on “Authorized Leaks”

A new Department of Defense directive requires the Pentagon to notify Congress whenever a DoD official discloses classified intelligence to a reporter on an authorized basis, or declassifies the information specifically for release to the press. The new directive on “Congressional Notification for Authorized Public Disclosure of Intelligence Information” applies to all components of the […]

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Snowden Leak Prompted “Considerable Public Interest,” Says FISA Court

The leak by Edward Snowden of a classified order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) helped to arouse significant public interest, said the Court itself in an opinion issued today. Further disclosures are now justified, the Court indicated. “The unauthorized disclosure in June 2013 of a Section 215 order, and government statements in […]

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