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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions

Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions

Date: December 27, 2011
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Description: Published reports have suggested that in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Pentagon has expanded its counter-terrorism intelligence activities as part of what the Bush Administration termed the global war on terror. This report discusses the Department of Defense's (DOD) various counter-terrorist intelligence activities, whether or not they constitute classification as "covert action," and the challenge of clarifying the roles and responsibilities of various intelligence activities with regard to clandestine activities. This report examines the statutory procedures governing covert action and associated questions to consider.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Amendments: 109th Congress

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Amendments: 109th Congress

Date: September 22, 2006
Creator: Relyea, Harold C.
Description: Enacted in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was designed to enable any person -- individual or corporate, regardless of citizenship -- to request, without explanation or justification, presumptive access to existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records on any topic. The statute specified nine categories of information that may be permissibly exempted from the rule of disclosure. Disputes over the accessibility of requested records could be ultimately settled in court. The statute has become a somewhat popular tool of inquiry and information gathering for various quarters of American society. This report details the history of the Act, as well as relevant legislation and incidences and the efforts to amend the Act.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Protection of Classified Information by Congress: Practices and Proposals

Protection of Classified Information by Congress: Practices and Proposals

Date: May 27, 2008
Creator: Kaiser, Frederick M.
Description: The protection of classified national security and other controlled information is of concern not only to the executive branch - which determines what information is to be safeguarded, for the most part - but also to Congress, which uses the information to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities. It has established mechanisms to safeguard controlled information in its custody, although these arrangements have varied over time between the two chambers and among panels in each. This report explores and analyzes said mechanisms. It also discusses various proposals for standardization of and modifications to current policies.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Sensitive but Unclassified" Information and Other Controls: Policy and Options for Scientific and Technical Information

"Sensitive but Unclassified" Information and Other Controls: Policy and Options for Scientific and Technical Information

Date: February 15, 2006
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J
Description: This report traces the evolution of "sensitive but unclassified" or SBU-related controls; summarizes actions taken to protect certain types of scientific and technical information; describes critiques of some control policies; and summarizes proposals and actions, including congressional, executive and other initiatives, to clarify these issues and develop policies that serve various stakeholders. It also raises issues that may warrant further attention.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress

Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress

Date: February 2, 2006
Creator: Shea, Dana A
Description: There is a lack of consensus regarding the best method of balancing scientific publishing and national security. The current federal policy, as described in National Security Decision Directive 189, is that fundamental research should remain unrestricted and that in the rare case where it is necessary to restrict such information, classification is the appropriate vehicle to do so. Other mechanisms restrict international information flow, where Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) control export of items and technical information on specific lists. Both EAR and ITAR contain a fundamental research exclusion, but this exclusion is lost if prepublication review of research results for sensitive information occurs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
China: Suspected Acquisition of U.S. Nuclear Weapon Secrets

China: Suspected Acquisition of U.S. Nuclear Weapon Secrets

Date: February 1, 2006
Creator: Kan, Shirley A
Description: This CRS Report discusses China’s suspected acquisition of U.S. nuclear weapon secrets, including that on the W88, the newest U.S. nuclear warhead, since the late 1970s. This current controversy, began in early 1999, raises policy issues about whether U.S. security is further threatened by the PRC’s suspected use of U.S. nuclear weapon secrets in its development of nuclear forces, as well as whether the Administration’s response to the security problems is effective or mishandled and whether it fairly used or abused its investigative and prosecuting authority.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress

Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress

Date: January 10, 2003
Creator: Shea, Dana A
Description: There is a lack of consensus regarding the best method of balancing scientific publishing and national security. The current federal policy, as described in National Security Decision Directive 189, is that fundamental research should remain unrestricted and that in the rare case where it is necessary to restrict such information, classification is the appropriate vehicle to do so. Other mechanisms restrict international information flow, where Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) control export of items and technical information on specific lists. Both EAR and ITAR contain a fundamental research exclusion, but this exclusion is lost if prepublication review of research results for sensitive information occurs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress

Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress

Date: July 9, 2003
Creator: Shea, Dana A
Description: There is a lack of consensus regarding the best method of balancing scientific publishing and national security. The current federal policy, as described in National Security Decision Directive 189, is that fundamental research should remain unrestricted and that in the rare case where it is necessary to restrict such information, classification is the appropriate vehicle to do so. Other mechanisms restrict international information flow, where Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) control export of items and technical information on specific lists. Both EAR and ITAR contain a fundamental research exclusion, but this exclusion is lost if prepublication review of research results for sensitive information occurs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Sensitive But Unclassified" and Other Federal Security Controls on Scientific and Technical Information: History and Current Controversy

"Sensitive But Unclassified" and Other Federal Security Controls on Scientific and Technical Information: History and Current Controversy

Date: July 2, 2003
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J
Description: This report (1) summarizes provisions of several laws and regulations, including the Patent Law, the Atomic Energy Act, International Traffic in Arms Control regulations, the USA PATRIOT Act (P.L. 107-56), the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-188), and the Homeland SecurityAct (P.L. 107-296), that permit the federal government to restrict disclosure of scientific and technical information that could harm national security; (2) describes the development of federal controls on “sensitive but unclassified” (SBU) scientific and technical information; (3) summarizes current controversies about White House policy on “Sensitive But Unclassified Information,” and “Sensitive Homeland Security Information” (SHSI) issued in March 2002; and (4) identifies controversial issues which might affect the development of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and agency guidelines for sensitive unclassified information, which are expected to be released during 2003.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
"Sensitive But Unclassified" and Other Federal Security Controls on Scientific and Technical Information: History and Current Controversy

"Sensitive But Unclassified" and Other Federal Security Controls on Scientific and Technical Information: History and Current Controversy

Date: April 2, 2003
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J
Description: This report (1) summarizes provisions of several laws and regulations, including the Patent Law, the Atomic Energy Act, International Traffic in Arms Control regulations, the USA PATRIOT Act (P.L. 107-56), the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-188), and the Homeland Security Act (P.L. 107-296), that permit the federal government to restrict disclosure of scientific and technical information that could harm national security; (2) describes the development of federal controls on “sensitive but unclassified” (SBU) scientific and technical information; (3) summarizes current controversies about White House policy on “Sensitive But Unclassified Information,” and “Sensitive Homeland Security Information” (SHSI) issued in March 2002; and (4) identifies controversial issues which might affect the development of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and agency guidelines for sensitive unclassified information, which are expected to be released during 2003.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department