New Obama executive order bans former officials from talking publicly

The Obama administration is clamping down on a technique that government officials have long used to join in public discussions of well-known but technically still-secret information: citing news reports based on unauthorized disclosures.

Here is the unclassified document: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1156526-instr-80-04-pre-publication-review-of.html

A new pre-publication review policy (Link above) for the Office of Director of National Intelligence says the agency’s current and former employees and contractors may not cite news reports based on leaks in their speeches, opinion articles, books, term papers or other unofficial writings.

Such officials “must not use sourcing that comes from known leaks, or unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information,” it says. “The use of such information in a publication can confirm the validity of an unauthorized disclosure and cause further harm to national security.”

Failure to comply “may result in the imposition of civil and administrative penalties, and may result in the loss of security clearances and accesses,” it says. It follows a policy that James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, issued in March that bars officials at all 17 intelligence agencies from speaking without permission to journalists about unclassified information related to intelligence.

Timothy H. Edgar, a visiting professor at Brown University who worked at the intelligence office and the White House from 2006 to 2013, said it was appropriate to block former officials from disclosing classified information and confirming leaks.

Video Via: Agenda NWO

But, he said, it went too far to retroactively block former officials from citing news reports in the public domain, as long as they did so neutrally and did not confirm them as factually correct. That would amount to a prior restraint on former officials’ First Amendment rights that they did not consent to, he said.

“You’re basically saying people can’t talk about what everyone in the country is talking about,” he said. “I think that is awkward and overly broad in terms of restricting speech.”

Jeffrey Anchukaitis, a spokesman for Mr. Clapper, said that while the policy compels current and former officials “to engage before releasing information, in practice each case is unique and officials work with O.D.N.I. personnel to allow for as much public release as possible.”

Intelligence officials have long agreed to submit writings for pre-publication review as a condition of receiving security clearances. While the goal of the old policy was to ensure “the protection of classified information,” the new policy is subtly broader: “to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of information.”

Mr. Anchukaitis said the change was intended to acknowledge that there are other types of sensitive information whose release was already restricted, such as proprietary business data submitted for contract negotiations or personnel information covered by the Privacy Act.

http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BlykWH_CQAESA7_.jpg:medium

The new policy is written ambiguously in places. It combines what had been two directives — one governing official agency writings and another covering unofficial writings by both current and former employees — into one. It is sometimes unclear which categories are covered by particular rules.

One section, for example, suggests that writings by former officials may be censored to remove unclassified information deemed “For Official Use Only” and intended for the state and local police. But Mr. Anchukaitis said that section is meant only to make sure that official releases to state and local agencies are screened for classified information before being issued.

The new policy was signed last month and first reported on Thursday on the Secrecy News blog by Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy for the Federation of American Scientists.

http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2014/05/intelligence-staff-banned-from-citing-leaked-material-188257.html

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/Headlines/Article/Intelligence-Staff-Banned-from-Citing-Leaked-Material

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#NSA: ” Obama Administration Announces Agreement with Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Google and Microsoft but Civil Rights Still Want More”

#AceSecurityNews says Facebook, Google, and others can unveil national security request details, but not until product is two years old. Thus urging `Civil Rights Groups’ to want more!

Published time: February 03, 2014 23:02
Reuters / Pawel KopczynskiReuters / Pawel Kopczynski
Some of the most influential companies in Silicon Valley have unveiled data regarding the national security requests they have received from the US government, detailing how many requests they receive, how many the company responds to, and other details.

The Obama administration announced Monday it had come to an agreement with Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft to allow the companies to disclose some details about the surveillance requests targeting their customers.

Apple released its own transparency report last week.

US Attorney General Eric Holder and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a joint statement that the tech companies are now authorized to disclose the “number of national security orders and requests issued to communication providers, the number of customer accounts targeted under those orders and requests and the underlying legal authorities.”

The companies have spent months fighting for such a deal after complaining that the National Security Agency dragnet exposed last year had hurt business.

We filed our lawsuits because we believe that the public has a right to know about the volume and types of national security requests we receive,” the five companies said in a joint statement Monday. “We’re pleased the Department of Justice has agreed that we and other providers can disclose this information. While this is a very positive step we’ll continue to encourage Congress to take additional steps to address all of the reforms we believe are needed.”

Civil liberties activists hold a rally against surveillance of US citizens on January 17, 2014. (AFP Photo / Nicholas Kamm)Civil liberties activists hold a rally against surveillance of US citizens on January 17, 2014. (AFP Photo / Nicholas Kamm)

Reports indicate that, when the first of the Edward Snowden leaks were publicized in June, the White House was reluctant to make any deals with Silicon Valley. But with media pressure mounting and shifting polls proving that a sizable number of Americans are skeptical about the NSA surveillance, administration officials told Politico the time to negotiate had come.

While this aggregate data was properly classified until today, the office of the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with other departments and agencies, has determined that the public interest in disclosing this information now outweighs the national security concerns that require its classification,” stated Holder and Clapper.

Facebook’s transparency report for the latter half of 2012 and the first six months of 2013 noted that only a “small fraction” of one percent of its users were the target of any surveillance requests.

LinkedIn received “between 0 and 249” national security-related requests in the first six months of 2013. Over the same time period, Microsoft said it was sent under 1,000 national security letters pertaining to fewer than 1,000 accounts.

However, the government still prohibits companies from disclosing surveillance details about a new product until two years after it was launched, a condition that has irked civil liberties advocates calling for wider change.

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel and the company’s executive vice president for legal and corporate affairs, has said the government agreed to let the companies disclose requests “in bands of a thousand” and only six months after a request was made.

Asking the public and policymakers to try to judge the appropriateness of the government’s surveillance practices based on a single, combined, rounded number is like asking a doctor to diagnose a patient’s shadow: only the grossest and most obvious problem, if even that, will be ever evident,” Kevin Bankston, policy director at the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, told Politico.

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