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Secrecy News -- 06/13/02

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood@fas.org>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 14:44:16 -0400
Fwd Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 21:02:14 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 06/13/02

from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2002, Issue No. 52
June 13, 2002



An ad hoc faculty committee at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology this week reaffirmed MIT's longstanding attitude
toward the conduct of classified research, opposing such
research on campus but permitting it at the university's off-
campus facilities.

"We recommend that no classified research should be carried out
on campus, that no student, graduate or undergraduate, should be
required to have a security clearance to perform their research,
and that no thesis research should be carried out in areas
requiring access to classified materials," the committee report

On the other hand, "There exist several organizations that can
provide access to classified facilities to enable MIT faculty to
carry out the classified portions of their research.  The most
prominent of these is MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, but several
other organizations could also provide such access."

The report addresses various emerging security restrictions and
provides some important real-world feedback.  For example:

"Because there is no consistent understanding or definition of
what would constitute 'sensitive' information, MIT should
continue its policy of not agreeing to any sponsor's contractual
request that research results... be reviewed for the inadvertent
disclosure of 'sensitive' information.  Beyond this, MIT should
not accept or hold any documents on its campus that are
designated 'sensitive' or 'no foreign nationals'...."

The committee report, entitled "In the Public Interest," may be
found together with a June 12 MIT press release here:



"The U.S. military must consciously prepare itself to fight in
an information transparent world," according to a paper
published by the Air Force last year.

"The worldwide explosion in the quantity and quality of
information and products available to the general public user,
the ready accessibility of the information, and the
affordability in acquiring any desired data or product is
creating a transparent world at an alarming rate," wrote Air
Force Lt. Col. Beth M. Kaspar.

"Transparency can seriously degrade several principles of war,
most significantly mass, maneuver, and surprise.  For example,
it will provide an adversary near-real time, accurate battle-
space visibility of U.S. military posture at both the strategic
and theater levels," Col. Kaspar wrote.

"U.S. military planners must accept that information
transparency is inevitable and proceed to minimize its affects
on our military capability."

See "The End of Secrecy?  Military Competitiveness in the Age of
Transparency," originally published by the Center for Strategy
and Technology, Air War College, Air University, Maxwell Air
Force Base, here:


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

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Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
web:    www.fas.org/sgp/index.html
email:  saftergood@fas.org
voice:  (202) 454-4691

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