UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 4

Secrecy News -- 11/04/02

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2002 15:43:19 -0500
Archived: Mon, 04 Nov 2002 10:38:51 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 11/04/02


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2002, Issue No. 110
November 4, 2002


**	NSA CELEBRATES ITS FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY
**	MORE ON SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED


NSA CELEBRATES ITS FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY

The National Security Agency observed its fiftieth anniversary
last weekend in a characteristically low key manner.

("How you can tell an extrovert from an introvert at NSA?  In
the elevators, the extroverts look at the OTHER guy's shoes."
 Or rather, the NSA extroverts are the ones that were telling
that joke last weekend.)

NSA, the nation's codemaking, codebreaking and signals
intelligence organization, was established on October 24, 1952
by President Harry S. Truman in a top secret, 8-page
presidential memorandum.  Formal announcement of the new agency
was delayed until November 4, 1952 -- Election Day -- in order
to keep the creation of the Agency out of the news, according to
NSA.

Speaking at a November 1 anniversary ceremony at NSA
headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland, historian David Kahn
offered his thoughts on "the death of cryptanalysis."

Kahn, author of The Codebreakers and other pioneering histories
of cryptography, noted the technological challenges confronting
NSA and observed that it is far from the omniscient, omnipotent
entity that outsiders sometimes imagine.

"NSA doesn't know or control everything, as shown by public-key
cryptography and the beating NSA took on key escrow and the fact
that U.S. Navy submarines use Microsoft Windows," he said.

See David Kahn's invited remarks here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/kahn.html

President Truman's 1952 memorandum establishing the NSA is
available on the website of the National Security Archive here:

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB23/02-01.htm

A January 2001 Congressional Research Service report entitled
"The National Security Agency: Issues for Congress" by Richard
A. Best Jr. may be found here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RL30740.pdf


MORE ON SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

"It is not the intention of the [Bush] administration to create
a new category of sensitive but unclassified [information],"
said White House science advisor John H. Marburger III last
week.

"But the fact is that even at the present time, federal agencies
do have information that they don't generally release to the
public, like law enforcement information and lists of
vulnerabilities of certain types that are simply not made
public, but they're not classified," Dr. Marburger said.  He
spoke on the National Public Radio program "Talk of the Nation"
on November 1.

However, Dr. Marburger's assurances did not immediately relieve
concerns among other scientists about the impact of the
"sensitive but unclassified" designation.

"Despite what's been said, my sense is the administration has
gone well beyond the kinds of controls that are fairly
innocuous," said Dr. Steven M. Block of Stanford University.

The archived audio of their conversation can be heard here:

http://www.npr.org/ramfiles/totn/20021101.totn.01.ram

Since there will always be some disagreement about what official
information should and should not be disclosed, the process for
making that determination should be as open and as equitable as
possible.

"Crafting a new policy that responds to sometimes competing
interests in security and public access should not be an
extraordinarily difficult task."

See my article "Making Sense of Government Information
Restrictions" in the Summer 2002 edition of "Issues in Science
and Technology" here:

http://bob.nap.edu/issues/18.4/stalk.htm



_______________________________________________

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

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, send email to
secrecy_news-request.nul
with "subscribe" in the body of the message.

OR email your request to saftergood.nul

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

[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |

UFO UpDates Main Index

UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp


Archive programming by Glenn Campbell at Glenn-Campbell.com