Tag Archive | Secrecy News

Drone Programs Sparks Budgetary and Privacy Concerns

By Steve Aftergood, Secrecy News, January 31, 2013

The development of unmanned aerial systems (or drones) for military and civilian applications appears to be accelerating faster than the normal policy process can adapt to it.  Aside from festering doubts about the legality, propriety and wisdom of their routine use in targeted killing operations, drone programs are beset by budgetary confusion, and a host of privacy and other legal problems are poised to emerge with the expanded use of drones in domestic airspace. … Meanwhile, “Perhaps the most contentious issue concerning the introduction of drones into U.S. airspace is the threat that this technology will be used to spy on American citizens,” said a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

For full text of the article visit Secrecy News here.

A copy of the CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News.  See Integration of Drones into Domestic Airspace: Selected Legal Issues, January 30, 2013.

See also Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Manufacturing Trends, January 30, 2013.

Additional resources on drone policy issues are available from the Electronic Privacy Information Center here.

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Pentagon Lists 110 Potential Drone Bases in U.S.

by Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News, June 14th, 2012

The Department of Defense has identified 110 sites in the United States that could serve as bases for military unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones. A new report to Congress lists each of the 110 sites “and the UAS likely to fly at that location.” See “Report to Congress on Future Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training, Operations, and Sustainability,” Department of Defense, April 2012 (pp. 9-12).

For full text of the article, visit Secrecy News.

New Congressional Research Reports on Major Disasters and Emergencies | Secrecy News

From Secrecy News, September 16, 2011:

  • “Climate Change: Conceptual Approaches and Policy Tools,” August 29, 2011
  • “Homeland Security Department: FY2012 Appropriations,” September 2, 2011
  • “Congressional Primer on Major Disasters and Emergencies,” August 31, 2011

For links to the PDF CRS reports, visit Secrecy News.

Presidential Directive on “National Preparedness”

Presidential Directive on “National Preparedness”

April 8th, 2011 by Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News, FAS

The Obama Administration today released the text of Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) 8 (pdf) on “National Preparedness.”  The Directive, signed by President Obama on March 30, generally calls for development of systematic response plans for natural and manmade disasters, and seeks to enlist broad engagement in the process.

“This directive is aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through systematic preparation for the threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation, including acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters. Our national preparedness is the shared responsibility of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and individual citizens. Everyone can contribute to safeguarding the Nation from harm . As such, while this directive is intended to galvanize action by the Federal Government, it is also aimed at facilitating an integrated, all-of-Nation, capabilities-based approach to preparedness.”

For full text of the article, visit Secrecy News and links to Presidential Directives.

Nuclear Power Plant Sites: Maps of Seismic Hazards and Population Centers

Secrecy News of the Federation of American Scientists posted a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report that provides maps of seismic hazards and population centers near nuclear power plants in the United States. “CRS determined the coordinates of plant sites using web-based applications and overlaid the sites on base maps of: 1. Quaternary faults, 2. Seismic hazards in terms of percent gravitational acceleration, 3. Levels of horizontal ground shaking (gravitational acceleration) that have a 2-in-100 (2%) probability of being exceeded in a 50-year period, and  4. Metropolitan populations.”

For PDF copy of the report, visit: “Nuclear Power Plant Sites: Maps of Seismic Hazards and Population Centers,” March 29, 2011.

New CRS Report on Law Enforcement Use of GPS Devices

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New Congressional Research Service Report on Law Enforcement Use of GPS Devices

Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News, March 10th, 2011

When law enforcement agencies use a Global Positioning System device to track the motor vehicle of a potential suspect, is that a “search” that is subject to constitutional protections under the Fourth Amendment? Or is it comparable to visual inspection of public information that enjoys no such protection? The Supreme Court has not ruled on the subject, and lower courts have issued a range of opinions in different cases, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service that carefully delineated the issues. …

For full article, visit Secrecy News.

A copy of the CRS report was obtained by Secrecy News. See “Law Enforcement Use of GPS Devices to Monitor Motor Vehicles: Fourth Amendment Considerations,” February 28, 2011

Large Release of Intelligence Imagery Foreseen

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Large Release of Intelligence Imagery Foreseen

by Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News, February 28th, 2011

Millions of feet of film of historical imagery from intelligence satellites may be declassified this year, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) said. “The NGA is anticipating the potential declassification of significant amounts of film-based imagery… in 2011,” according to an NGA announcement that solicited contractor interest in converting the declassified film into digital format.  It was published in Federal Business Opportunities on February 14, 2011.  A copy is posted here (pdf). … A nominal start date of October 1, 2011 was specified for the digitization project. The NGA announcement also suggested that the winning contractor would “retain rights to distribute declassified imagery and recoup investment, for a specified period of time (negotiable).”  This would be problematic if it implied that the contractor had exclusive access to the declassified film and could prevent others from digitizing selected portions of it.

For full text of the article, visit Secrecy News.

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