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Countering CIA’s Conflict of Interest in Declassification

Last week the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to submit the 480-page executive summary, findings and conclusions of its five-year investigation into the post-9/11 CIA Detention and Interrogation Program for declassification review. But in an obvious conflict of interest, the review is expected to be performed by the CIA itself. “The report exposes brutality that stands […]

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Intelligence Whistleblower Law Has Been Used Infrequently

The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA) has rarely been relied upon by intelligence agency whistleblowers, according to a newly released 2009 report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence Inspector General. During the ten year period after the Act came into effect in January 1999, intelligence agency Offices of Inspector General (OIGs) […]

The post Intelligence Whistleblower Law Has Been Used Infrequently appears on Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy.

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.

Inspector General Blasts NRO Secrecy Practices

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the agency that builds and operates U.S. intelligence satellites, frequently makes mistakes when it classifies national security information, according to an assessment performed last year by the NRO Inspector General. “From the classified documents we reviewed at NRO headquarters, 114 of 134 documents contained classification errors,” the IG report said. […]

The post Inspector General Blasts NRO Secrecy Practices appears on Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy.

GAO Says Data on Intelligence Contractors Not Reliable

Official data on the number of contractors used by civilian intelligence agencies are unreliable, according to a review by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Nor can the costs incurred by contractors be accurately assessed. The inadequacy of the data undermines workforce management as well as contractor oversight, GAO said. “GAO identified a number of limitations […]

The post GAO Says Data on Intelligence Contractors Not Reliable appears on Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy.

Privacy Board Urges New Criteria for Secrecy

The public controversy that erupted over NSA bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records was a clear sign, if one were needed, that the boundaries of government secrecy had been drawn incorrectly, and that the public had been wrongly denied an opportunity to grant or withhold its consent in such cases. To remedy this systemic problem, […]

The post Privacy Board Urges New Criteria for Secrecy 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.

The Clapper “Lie,” and the Senate Intelligence Committee

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper has been widely criticized for making a false statement at a March 2013 hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee.  What has gone unremarked, however, is the fact that the Committee permitted that statement to stand uncorrected. Sen. Ron Wyden asked DNI James Clapper at a March 12, 2013 […]

The post The Clapper “Lie,” and the Senate Intelligence Committee appears on Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy.

Intel Review Group Urges Reduced Secrecy

Updated below The report of a White House advisory group on intelligence surveillance said that reducing undue secrecy was one of its main objectives. “A central goal of our recommendations is to increase transparency and to decrease unnecessary secrecy, in order to enhance both accountability and public trust,” the report of the President’s Review Group […]

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