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Secrecy News -- 11/19/02

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 17:18:07 -0500
Archived: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 07:09:26 -0500
Subject: Secrecy News -- 11/19/02


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2002, Issue No. 116
November 19, 2002


**	COURT EASES DOMESTIC SURVEILLANCE RESTRICTIONS
**	DETAINEE SECRECY DEFENDED
**	WAS PENTAGON SUPPORT TO DC SNIPER HUNT ILLEGAL?
**	WISE REPLIES ON CIA, CENSORSHIP
**	E-GOVERNMENT, THERE AND HERE
**	WORLD BANK ON "THE RIGHT TO TELL"


COURT EASES DOMESTIC SURVEILLANCE RESTRICTIONS

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, in its
first decision ever, sided with the Justice Department this week
and reduced longstanding restrictions on cooperation between
intelligence and law enforcement personnel in domestic
counterintelligence and counterterrorism surveillance
activities.

"The Court of Review's action revolutionizes our ability to
investigate terrorists and prosecute terrorist acts," said
Attorney General Ashcroft enthusiastically, and he immediately
proceeded to announce a series of steps to implement the new
policy.See his November 18 remarks here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2002/11/ag111802.html

The new ruling bluntly rejected a lower court decision that
rebuked the Justice Department for exceeding its authority.

The Court of Review, whose three members are all Reagan
appointees, also took some swipes at the ACLU and other
organizations that filed friend of the court briefs in support
of the lower court position.(For example:the ACLU's "technique
[of legal argument], to put it gently, is hardly an orthodox
method of statutory interpretation.")

See the new order here:

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fisa/fiscr111802.html

The root of the matter, however, is not the court but rather the
USA Patriot Act, hastily adopted last year in an act of
legislative malpractice that resembles in some ways the passage
of the malformed Homeland Security Act.

See a discerning Washington Post editorial on the new decision
and the responsibility of Congress, "Chipping Away at Liberty,"
November 19, here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7807-2002Nov18.html


DETAINEE SECRECY DEFENDED

The Justice Department told a federal appeals court on Monday
that the names of hundreds of individuals who were arrested on
immigration charges after September 11, 2001, must remain
secret, contrary to a lower court ruling, because disclosing
them would assist terrorists.

See "U.S. Says Revealing Names Would Aid Al Qaeda," by Neil A.
Lewis, New York Times, November 19:

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/19/national/19DETA.html

Paradoxically, however, a Justice Department spokeswoman
released a press statement indicating that the secrecy was
needed not for security against terrorists but in order to
respect the detainees' personal privacy and that "all detainees
... can disclose their identity to the public at any time."See:

http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2002/November/02_civ_681.htm

The case came before the court as a result of a request filed by
a coalition of groups under the Freedom of Information Act.For
more information see the website of the lead plaintiff, the
Center for National Security Studies, here:

http://www.cnss.org/


WAS PENTAGON SUPPORT TO DC SNIPER HUNT ILLEGAL?

The use of military equipment and personnel from U.S. Northern
Command to assist police in tracking down the sniper who
terrorized Washington, DC last month may have been a violation
of law and regulation, according to Eugene Fidell, a former
Coast Guard judge advocate general and expert in military law.

At issue are the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, which generally
prohibits the use of military forces for law enforcement
purposes, and several other statutes and implementing
regulations.

Now that the sniper suspects have been apprehended and the
crisis has passed, this would be an appropriate moment to
consider the facts of the matter, the lessons learned and the
need, if any, for legislative or regulatory changes.But there is
little sign of official interest in any such deliberation.

Mr. Fidell's views and related issues were reported at some
length by Elaine M. Grossman in "Former JAG: Military Aid in DC
Sniper Pursuit May Have Broken Law," Inside the Pentagon,
November 14, reposted with permission here:

 http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2002/11/itp111402.html


WISE REPLIES ON CIA, CENSORSHIP

After author David Wise wrote in a New York Times op-ed that the
CIA had attempted to censor his book, the CIA press spokesman
issued an unusual statement, blasting Wise and his book, and
denying the censorship charge (SN, 11/11/02).

Mr. Wise replies in a statement posted on the web site of the
Counterintelligence Centre here:

http://www.cicentre.com/Documents/DOC_Hanssen_Aftereffects.htm


E-GOVERNMENT, THERE AND HERE

The U.S. State Department is sponsoring an international
conference this week for officials from over 35 countries on "E-
Government," which generally refers to the practice of making
government information and services available online.

"Properly implemented, e-government can improve government
efficiency, increase transparency, and provide a more welcoming
atmosphere for investment," according to a State Department
press release:

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2002/15235.htm

Meanwhile, Congress has just passed an "Electronic Government
Act" that promises to enhance the online availability of
government information in this country.

See "E-Gov Act on Way to President" by Bill Matthews, Federal
Computer Week, November 18:

http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2002/1118/web-ebill-11-18-02.asp


WORLD BANK ON "THE RIGHT TO TELL"

A vigorous and independent news media sector can boost economic
development around the world by promoting good government and
empowering citizens.

That straightforward but still challenging thesis is fleshed out
and validated in a new book entitled "The Right to Tell: The
Role of Mass Media in Economic Development" published November 7
by the World Bank.

The book's nineteen chapters discuss principles of transparency
and secrecy, and provide media critiques, as well as case
studies from a number of developing countries, written by an
unusual mix of contributors including Nobel laureates Joseph
Stiglitz and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, journalist Adam Michnik, as
well as other less celebrated but equally thoughtful writers and
researchers.

For further information on "The Right to Tell" see:

http://www.worldbank.org/wbi/righttotell.html

Secrecy News welcomes review copies of books on information
policy and national security.


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

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