Agencies Gain a New Justification for Secrecy

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Executive Order 13526

“No information may remain classified indefinitely.” –President Obama, on Executive Order 13526.

A version of this article originally appeared in Perspectives on History, an American Historical Association publication, with an introduction by Allen Mikaelian and alongside articles by former chief CIA historian Kenneth McDonald, and Cuba, Latin America, and the Caribbean historian Michael Bustamante.

The National Security Archive was disappointed, but not surprised, that in a two-to-one decision the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, in May 2014, agreed with the Central Intelligence Agency that a volume of its 30-year-old history of the 53-year-old Bay of Pigs Invasion could “confuse the public” and should thus be kept secret. To win this argument, the CIA successfully convinced Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Stephen Williams (Judge Judith Rogers identified multiple contradictions in her strong dissent) that any document the agency deems “predecisional” can be withheld Ad infinitum.

The claim that the entire universe of “predecisional” documents–including any claimed “draft”–should be withheld from the public is in line with the agency’s information withholding strategy. The agency has found that it is much easier to withhold entire universes of documents than argue the merits of classification to protect US national security on a case-by-case, document-by-document basis.

The Appeals Court decision.

The CIA got its first taste of “universal withholding” when Congress passed the 1984 CIA Operational Files Exemption. Unlike other Freedom of Information Act exemptions, which can be applied after agencies search and locate requested documents, the Operational Files Exemption creates a universe of documents that the CIA does not even have to search for. This means that if a historian requests records for, say, Operation Phoenix, the CIA-led assassination program conducted during the Vietnam War, the CIA will reply–less than completely forthcomingly–that its search has returned no results. Admiral William McRaven, the Joint Special Operations Commander who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid, knew about this transparency black hole: he ordered the FOIA-complying Department of Defense to purge its computers of all files on the Navy SEALs raid on bin Laden and send them to the CIA, where the Operational Files Exemption would keep them “safe” from search and review for release.

Of course, very few historians would argue that FOIA requests should disclose the names of undercover CIA operatives, their foreign sources, or many intelligence methods. But when the CIA’s use of this exemption is examined, it is clear that it goes far beyond these reasonable protections. The agency has stretched the limits again recently to begin arguing that even histories of the Clandestine Service, including its actions in Italy and Hungary more than six decades ago, are exempt from search and review under the Operational Files Exemption. By definition, a history cannot be an “operational file,” yet that is what the CIA is allowed to claim to FOIA requesters.

Troublingly, the CIA’s withholding of its Bay of Pigs history is an attempt to keep another universe of documents from disclosure: those it claims are “predecisional.” The CIA is seeking this expansion because key figures within the US government have begun reviewing the CIA’s classification decisions and overruling the agency’s claims for the need of secrecy. The Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), housed at the US National Archives, overrules government  classification claims in more than 70 percent of the documents it reviews (including those of the CIA).

assault shipped

Annex No. 25 Ammunition Available to the Brigade from the National Archives. Lucky this wasn’t from a draft!

To avoid being overruled by ISCAP, the CIA has employed two tactics. First, it uses the Operational Files Exemption so that requesters cannot officially identify classified documents for ISCAP to review and overturn. Second, it has begun to stop withholding some documents because they are classified (which ISCAP could overturn) and instead withholds them because they are “predecisional” (which ISCAP has no authority to overturn). The CIA’s shell game is an affront to those who strive to compile an accurate history of US intelligence, foreign policy, and national security history.

The CIA also strives to obstruct the declassification efforts of holders of releasable universes of documents, including the presidential libraries and the Department of State. At the presidential libraries, the CIA has installed a Remote Archives Capture (RAC) system where it claims authority to digitize all documents at the libraries and first crack at keeping them secret–often using the Operational Files or “predecisional” exemptions–before letting the library, and other agencies, review the documents for release. The RAC system was installed, at least partially, in reaction to the presidential libraries acting with too much autonomy in their declassification decisions and in releasing to the public documents the CIA wished to keep secret. RAC is the primary reason for overclassification and the decades-long waits for declassification at the presidential libraries.

The CIA also continues to slow the release of the State Department’s flagship Foreign Relations of the United States series. In 1991, Congress passed a law requiring the reissue of volumes on relations with Guatemala (1954), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1960–1968), and Iran (1952–1954) because they initially ignored the CIA’s role in foreign policy. Fortunately, the “retrospective” records of US relations with Guatemala and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been released. Unfortunately, the declassification review for the volume on Congo took over a decade.

CIA role in 1953 Iran coupWe are still waiting for the “retroactive” release of the Iran volume, confirming the CIA’s role in Mossadeq’s overthrow. According to the State Department’s Historical Advisory Committee, a FRUS volume that includes “an intelligence issue requiring consideration” often requires “multiple years [] in the declassification pipeline.” Even more troublingly, these declassification issues—many, but not all caused by the CIA—“will increase significantly as compliers work through the Carter presidency and beyond.”

The CIA does have some robust methods for disclosurefor information within the universe that they want disclosed. The agency has a large online library of books, monographs, and documents on subjects such as directors and deputy directors of the agency, and intelligence successes such as Cold War Polish double agent Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski. Their FOIA processing and release of analytical reports is also fairly strong. But in a swipe at both 21st-century industry standards and at historians, the agency steadfastly refuses to post its full CIA Records Search Tool (CREST) database online. Instead researchers must travel to the National Archives or a presidential library to use it. The CIA’s explanation: a fear of the Mosaic Principle–the piecing together of documents to discern information the agency wants hidden. Of course, the Mosaic Principle is one routinely used by historians.

This year, even the general counsel for the Director of National Intelligence, who is nominally in charge of the CIA, instructed that classifiers and declassifiers must ask “not can we classify, but should we?” As the Bay of Pigs case shows, the CIA has ignored this instruction, continues to keep universes of documents secret, and refuses to review harmless documents of historical importance. The agency’s antipathy toward history will not change until historians organize a movement strong enough to force it.

 

 

 

Resources:

Black Holes in the Predecisional Universe

Executive Privilege in the Field of Intelligence CIA

Clandestine Service — Central Intelligence Agency

 

 

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Obama’s NSA Refuses FOIA Request on Malaysia Flight 370 on Grounds of ‘Classified Info’

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 missing MH370Nearly seven months after its disappearance, what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and why won’t Obama Release the information?

Obama’s NSA Refuses FOIA Request on Malaysia Flight 370 on Grounds of ‘Classified Info.’

  • Malaysia Airlines flight 370, with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board, disappeared. Repeated searches in the south Indian Ocean 2,000 miles southwest from Perth, Australia have found nothing. Speculations abound as to what really happened to MH 370, from the plausible to the bizarre, including:
    * The plane actually landed in Pakistan.
    * The plane actually landed on the U.S. military base on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
    * The Israelis hijacked the plane, which (or a plane identical to MH 370) is now in the Tel Aviv airport, to be used in another fake 9-11 attack.
    * The U.S. military shot down the plane.
    * The Chinese, Muslims or Iran hijacked the plane and shot down the plane.
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    All along, I’ve maintained that, given U.S. satellites and the National Security Administration’s (NSA) massive surveillance capabilities, the Obama administration knows precisely what had happened to MH 370, but is not telling. Notice that at no time has the White House offered its radar and satellite tracking information to help in the search.
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    Now there is evidence that the NSA indeed knows but isn’t telling.

    On March 24, 2014, the gutsy and indefatigable attorney Dr. Orly Taitz made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the NSA for any and all documents relating to missing Malaysian Flight MH 370.
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    This is the letter Dr. Taitz received in response:

NSA-reply_to-foia_request_for_MH370_infoHere’s the most important paragraph in the NSA’s letter:

We have determined that the fact of the existence or non-existence of the materials you request is a currently and properly classified matter in accordance with the Executive Order 13526, as set forth in Sub-paragraph (c) of Section 1.4. Thus your request is denied pursuant to the first exemption of the FOIA which provides that the FOIA does not apply to matters that are specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive Order to be kept order in the interest of national defense or foreign relations and are, in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive Order.
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Taitz points out that “Typically when the government does not have any records, it would respond to FOIA request attesting that there are no records in question, however this is not what happened in the case at hand. NSA did not deny existence of the documents, but stated that it is classified.

EO 13526For those of you who actually READ…

Executive Order 13526- Classified National Security Information:

This order prescribes a uniform system for classifying, safeguarding, and declassifying national security information, including information relating to defense against transnational terrorism.  Our democratic principles require that the American people be informed of the activities of their Government.  Also, our Nation’s progress depends on the free flow of information both within the Government and to the American people.  Nevertheless, throughout our history, the national defense has required that certain information be maintained in confidence in order to protect our citizens, our democratic institutions, our homeland security, and our interactions with foreign nations.  Protecting information critical to our Nation’s security and demonstrating our commitment to open Government through accurate and accountable application of classification standards and routine, secure, and effective declassification are equally important priorities.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

PART 1 — ORIGINAL CLASSIFICATION

Section 1.1.  Classification Standards.  (a)  Information may be originally classified under the terms of this order only if all of the following conditions are met:

(1)  an original classification authority is classifying the information;

(2)  the information is owned by, produced by or for, or is under the control of the United States Government;

(3)  the information falls within one or more of the categories of information listed in section 1.4 of this order; and

(4)  the original classification authority determines that the unauthorized disclosure of the information reasonably could be expected to result in damage to the national security, which includes defense against transnational terrorism, and the original classification authority is able to identify or describe the damage.

(b)  If there is significant doubt about the need to classify information, it shall not be classified.  This provision does not:

(1)  amplify or modify the substantive criteria or procedures for classification; or

(2)  create any substantive or procedural rights subject to judicial review.

(c)  Classified information shall not be declassified automatically as a result of any unauthorized disclosure of identical or similar information.

(d)  The unauthorized disclosure of foreign government information is presumed to cause damage to the national security.

Sec. 1.2.  Classification Levels.  (a)  Information may be classified at one of the following three levels:

(1)  “Top Secret” shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security that the original classification authority is able to identify or describe.

(2)  “Secret” shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security that the original classification authority is able to identify or describe.

(3)  “Confidential” shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security that the original classification authority is able to identify or describe.

(b)  Except as otherwise provided by statute, no other terms shall be used to identify United States classified information.

(c)  If there is significant doubt about the appropriate level of classification, it shall be classified at the lower level.

Sec. 1.3.  Classification Authority (a)  The authority to classify information originally may be exercised only by:

(1)  the President and the Vice President;

(2)  agency heads and officials designated by the President; and

(3)  United States Government officials delegated this authority pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.

(b)  Officials authorized to classify information at a specified level are also authorized to classify information at a lower level.

(c)  Delegation of original classification authority.

(1)  Delegations of original classification authority shall be limited to the minimum required to administer this order.  Agency heads are responsible for ensuring that designated subordinate officials have a demonstrable and continuing need to exercise this authority.

(2)  “Top Secret” original classification authority may be delegated only by the President, the Vice President, or an agency head or official designated pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(3)  “Secret” or “Confidential” original classification authority may be delegated only by the President, the Vice President, an agency head or official designated pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section, or the senior agency official designated  under section 5.4(d) of this order, provided that official has been delegated “Top Secret” original classification authority by the agency head.

(4)  Each delegation of original classification authority shall be in writing and the authority shall not be redelegated except as provided in this order.  Each delegation shall identify the official by name or position.

(5)  Delegations of original classification authority shall be reported or made available by name or position to the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office.

(d)  All original classification authorities must receive training in proper classification (including the avoidance of over-classification) and declassification as provided in this order and its implementing directives at least once a calendar year.  Such training must include instruction on the proper safeguarding of classified information and on the sanctions in section 5.5 of this order that may be brought against an individual who fails to classify information properly or protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure.  Original classification authorities who do not receive such mandatory training at least once within a calendar year shall have their classification authority suspended by the agency head or the senior agency official designated under section 5.4(d) of this order until such training has taken place.  A waiver may be granted by the agency head, the deputy agency head, or the senior agency official if an individual is unable to receive such training due to unavoidable circumstances.  Whenever a waiver is granted, the individual shall receive such training as soon as practicable.

(e)  Exceptional cases.  When an employee, government contractor, licensee, certificate holder, or grantee of an agency who does not have original classification authority originates information believed by that person to require classification, the information shall be protected in a manner consistent with this order and its implementing directives.  The information shall be transmitted promptly as provided under this order or its implementing directives to the agency that has appropriate subject matter interest and classification authority with respect to this information.  That agency shall decide within 30 days whether to classify this information.

Sec. 1.4.  Classification Categories.  Information shall not be considered for classification unless its unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause identifiable or describable damage to the national security in accordance with section 1.2 of this order, and it pertains to one or more of the following:

(a)  military plans, weapons systems, or operations;

(b)  foreign government information;

(c)  intelligence activities (including covert action), intelligence sources or methods, or cryptology;

(d)  foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources;

(e)  scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to the national security;

(f)  United States Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;

(g)  vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, infrastructures, projects, plans, or protection services relating to the national security; or

(h)  the development, production, or use of weapons of mass destruction.

Sec. 1.5.  Duration of Classification.  (a)  At the time of original classification, the original classification authority shall establish a specific date or event for declassification based on the duration of the national security sensitivity of the information.  Upon reaching the date or event, the information shall be automatically declassified.  Except for information that should clearly and demonstrably be expected to reveal the identity of a confidential human source or a human intelligence source or key design concepts of weapons of mass destruction, the date or event shall not exceed the time frame established in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b)  If the original classification authority cannot determine an earlier specific date or event for declassification, information shall be marked for declassification 10 years from the date of the original decision, unless the original classification authority otherwise determines that the sensitivity of the information requires that it be marked for declassification for up to 25 years from the date of the original decision.

(c)  An original classification authority may extend the duration of classification up to 25 years from the date of origin of the document, change the level of classification, or reclassify specific information only when the standards and procedures for classifying information under this order are followed.

(d)  No information may remain classified indefinitely.  Information marked for an indefinite duration of classification under predecessor orders, for example, marked as “Originating Agency’s Determination Required,” or classified information that contains incomplete declassification instructions or lacks declassification instructions shall be declassified in accordance with part 3 of this order.

Sec. 1.6.  Identification and Markings.  (a)  At the time of original classification, the following shall be indicated in a manner that is immediately apparent:

(1)  one of the three classification levels defined in section 1.2 of this order;

(2)  the identity, by name and position, or by personal identifier, of the original classification authority;

(3)  the agency and office of origin, if not otherwise evident;

(4)  declassification instructions, which shall indicate one of the following:

(A)  the date or event for declassification, as prescribed in section 1.5(a);

(B)  the date that is 10 years from the date of original classification, as prescribed in section 1.5(b);

(C)  the date that is up to 25 years from the date of original classification, as prescribed in section 1.5(b); or

(D)  in the case of information that should clearly and demonstrably be expected to reveal the identity of a confidential human source or a human intelligence source or key design concepts of weapons of mass destruction, the marking prescribed in implementing directives issued pursuant to this order; and

(5)  a concise reason for classification that, at a minimum, cites the applicable classification categories in section 1.4 of this order.

(b)  Specific information required in paragraph (a) of this section may be excluded if it would reveal additional classified information.

(c)  With respect to each classified document, the agency originating the document shall, by marking or other means, indicate which portions are classified, with the applicable classification level, and which portions are unclassified.  In accordance with standards prescribed in directives issued under this order, the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office may grant and revoke temporary waivers of this requirement.  The Director shall revoke any waiver upon a finding of abuse.

(d)  Markings or other indicia implementing the provisions of this order, including abbreviations and requirements to safeguard classified working papers, shall conform to the standards prescribed in implementing directives issued pursuant to this order.

(e)  Foreign government information shall retain its original classification markings or shall be assigned a U.S. classification that provides a degree of protection at least equivalent to that required by the entity that furnished the information.  Foreign government information retaining its original classification markings need not be assigned a U.S. classification marking provided that the responsible agency determines that the foreign government markings are adequate to meet the purposes served by U.S. classification markings.

(f)  Information assigned a level of classification under this or predecessor orders shall be considered as classified at that level of classification despite the omission of other required markings.  Whenever such information is used in the derivative classification process or is reviewed for possible declassification, holders of such information shall coordinate with an appropriate classification authority for the application of omitted markings.

(g)  The classification authority shall, whenever practicable, use a classified addendum whenever classified information constitutes a small portion of an otherwise unclassified document or prepare a product to allow for dissemination at the lowest level of classification possible or in unclassified form.

(h)  Prior to public release, all declassified records shall be appropriately marked to reflect their declassification.

Sec. 1.7.  Classification Prohibitions and Limitations.
(a)  In no case shall information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail to be declassified in order to:
(1)  conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error;

(2)  prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency;

(3)  restrain competition; or

(4)  prevent or delay the release of information that does not require protection in the interest of the national security.

(b)  Basic scientific research information not clearly related to the national security shall not be classified.

(c)  Information may not be reclassified after declassification and release to the public under proper authority unless:

(1)  the reclassification is personally approved in writing by the agency head based on a document-by-document determination by the agency that reclassification is required to prevent significant and demonstrable damage to the national security;

(2)  the information may be reasonably recovered without bringing undue attention to the information;

(3)  the reclassification action is reported promptly to the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (National Security Advisor) and the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office; and

(4)  for documents in the physical and legal custody of the National Archives and Records Administration (National Archives) that have been available for public use, the agency head has, after making the determinations required by this paragraph, notified the Archivist of the United States (Archivist), who shall suspend public access pending approval of the reclassification action by the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office.  Any such decision by the Director may be appealed by the agency head to the President through the National Security Advisor.  Public access shall remain suspended pending a prompt decision on the appeal.

(d)  Information that has not previously been disclosed to the public under proper authority may be classified or reclassified after an agency has received a request for it under the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552), the Presidential Records Act, 44 U.S.C. 2204(c)(1), the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), or the mandatory review provisions of section 3.5 of this order only if such classification meets the requirements of this order and is accomplished on a document-by-document basis with the personal participation or under the direction of the agency head, the deputy agency head, or the senior agency official designated under section 5.4 of this order.  The requirements in this paragraph also apply to those situations in which information has been declassified in accordance with a specific date or event determined by an original classification authority in accordance with section 1.5 of this order.

(e)  Compilations of items of information that are individually unclassified may be classified if the compiled information reveals an additional association or relationship that:  (1) meets the standards for classification under this order; and (2) is not otherwise revealed in the individual items of information.

Sec. 1.8.  Classification Challenges.  (a)  Authorized holders of information who, in good faith, believe that its classification status is improper are encouraged and expected to challenge the classification status of the information in accordance with agency procedures established under paragraph (b) of this section.

(b)  In accordance with implementing directives issued pursuant to this order, an agency head or senior agency official shall establish procedures under which authorized holders of information, including authorized holders outside the classifying agency, are encouraged and expected to challenge the classification of information that they believe is improperly classified or unclassified.  These procedures shall ensure that:

(1)  individuals are not subject to retribution for bringing such actions;

(2)  an opportunity is provided for review by an impartial official or panel; and

(3)  individuals are advised of their right to appeal agency decisions to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (Panel) established by section 5.3 of this order.

(c)  Documents required to be submitted for prepublication review or other administrative process pursuant to an approved nondisclosure agreement are not covered by this section.

Sec. 1.9.  Fundamental Classification Guidance Review.  
(a)  Agency heads shall complete on a periodic basis a comprehensive review of the agency’s classification guidance, particularly classification guides, to ensure the guidance reflects current circumstances and to identify classified information that no longer requires protection and can be declassified.  The initial fundamental classification guidance review shall be completed within 2 years of the effective date of this order.

(b)  The classification guidance review shall include an evaluation of classified information to determine if it meets the standards for classification under section 1.4 of this order, taking into account an up-to-date assessment of likely damage as described under section 1.2 of this order.

(c)  The classification guidance review shall include original classification authorities and agency subject matter experts to ensure a broad range of perspectives.

(d)  Agency heads shall provide a report summarizing the results of the classification guidance review to the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office and shall release an unclassified version of this report to the public.

PART 2 — DERIVATIVE CLASSIFICATION

Sec. 2.1.  Use of Derivative Classification.  (a)  Persons who reproduce, extract, or summarize classified information, or who apply classification markings derived from source material or as directed by a classification guide, need not possess original classification authority.

(b)  Persons who apply derivative classification markings shall:
(1)  be identified by name and position, or by personal identifier, in a manner that is immediately apparent for each derivative classification action;

(2)  observe and respect original classification decisions; and

(3)  carry forward to any newly created documents the pertinent classification markings.  For information derivatively classified based on multiple sources, the derivative classifier shall carry forward:

(A)  the date or event for declassification that corresponds to the longest period of classification among the sources, or the marking established pursuant to section 1.6(a)(4)(D) of this order; and

(B)  a listing of the source materials.

(c)  Derivative classifiers shall, whenever practicable, use a classified addendum whenever classified information constitutes a small portion of an otherwise unclassified document or prepare a product to allow for dissemination at the lowest level of classification possible or in unclassified form.

(d)  Persons who apply derivative classification markings shall receive training in the proper application of the derivative classification principles of the order, with an emphasis on avoiding over-classification, at least once every 2 years.  Derivative classifiers who do not receive such training at least once every 2 years shall have their authority to apply derivative classification markings suspended until they have received such training.  A waiver may be granted by the agency head, the deputy agency head, or the senior agency official if an individual is unable to receive such training due to unavoidable circumstances.  Whenever a waiver is granted, the individual shall receive such training as soon as practicable.

Sec. 2.2.  Classification Guides.  (a)  Agencies with original classification authority shall prepare classification guides to facilitate the proper and uniform derivative classification of information.  These guides shall conform to standards contained in directives issued under this order.

(b)  Each guide shall be approved personally and in writing by an official who:

(1)  has program or supervisory responsibility over the information or is the senior agency official; and

(2)  is authorized to classify information originally at the highest level of classification prescribed in the guide.

(c)  Agencies shall establish procedures to ensure that classification guides are reviewed and updated as provided in directives issued under this order.

(d)  Agencies shall incorporate original classification decisions into classification guides on a timely basis and in accordance with directives issued under this order.

(e)  Agencies may incorporate exemptions from automatic declassification approved pursuant to section 3.3(j) of this order into classification guides, provided that the Panel is notified of the intent to take such action for specific information in advance of approval and the information remains in active use.

(f)  The duration of classification of a document classified by a derivative classifier using a classification guide shall not exceed 25 years from the date of the origin of the document, except for:

(1)  information that should clearly and demonstrably be expected to reveal the identity of a confidential human source or a human intelligence source or key design concepts of weapons of mass destruction; and

(2)  specific information incorporated into classification guides in accordance with section 2.2(e) of this order.

PART 3 — DECLASSIFICATION AND DOWNGRADING

Sec. 3.1.  Authority for Declassification.  (a)  Information shall be declassified as soon as it no longer meets the standards for classification under this order.

(b)  Information shall be declassified or downgraded by:

(1)  the official who authorized the original classification, if that official is still serving in the same position and has original classification authority;

(2)  the originator’s current successor in function, if that individual has original classification authority;

(3)  a supervisory official of either the originator or his or her successor in function, if the supervisory official has original classification authority; or

(4)  officials delegated declassification authority in writing by the agency head or the senior agency official of the originating agency.

(c)  The Director of National Intelligence (or, if delegated by the Director of National Intelligence, the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence) may, with respect to the Intelligence Community, after consultation with the head of the originating Intelligence Community element or department, declassify, downgrade, or direct the declassification or downgrading of information or intelligence relating to intelligence sources, methods, or activities.

(d)  It is presumed that information that continues to meet the classification requirements under this order requires continued protection.  In some exceptional cases, however, the need to protect such information may be outweighed by the public interest in disclosure of the information, and in these cases the information should be declassified.  When such questions arise, they shall be referred to the agency head or the senior agency official.  That official will determine, as an exercise of discretion, whether the public interest in disclosure outweighs the damage to the national security that might reasonably be expected from disclosure.  This provision does not:

(1)  amplify or modify the substantive criteria or procedures for classification; or

(2)  create any substantive or procedural rights subject to judicial review.

(e)  If the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office determines that information is classified in violation of this order, the Director may require the information to be declassified by the agency that originated the classification.  Any such decision by the Director may be appealed to the President through the National Security Advisor.  The information shall remain classified pending a prompt decision on the appeal.

(f)  The provisions of this section shall also apply to agencies that, under the terms of this order, do not have original classification authority, but had such authority under predecessor orders.

(g)  No information may be excluded from declassification under section 3.3 of this order based solely on the type of document or record in which it is found.  Rather, the classified information must be considered on the basis of its content.

(h)  Classified nonrecord materials, including artifacts, shall be declassified as soon as they no longer meet the standards for classification under this order.

(i)  When making decisions under sections 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5 of this order, agencies shall consider the final decisions of the Panel.

Sec. 3.2.  Transferred Records.  (a)  In the case of classified records transferred in conjunction with a transfer of functions, and not merely for storage purposes, the receiving agency shall be deemed to be the originating agency for purposes of this order.

(b)  In the case of classified records that are not officially transferred as described in paragraph (a) of this section, but that originated in an agency that has ceased to exist and for which there is no successor agency, each agency in possession of such records shall be deemed to be the originating agency for purposes of this order.  Such records may be declassified or downgraded by the agency in possession of the records after consultation with any other agency that has an interest in the subject matter of the records.

(c)  Classified records accessioned into the National Archives shall be declassified or downgraded by the Archivist in accordance with this order, the directives issued pursuant to this order, agency declassification guides, and any existing procedural agreement between the Archivist and the relevant agency head.

(d)  The originating agency shall take all reasonable steps to declassify classified information contained in records determined to have permanent historical value before they are accessioned into the National Archives.  However, the Archivist may require that classified records be accessioned into the National Archives when necessary to comply with the provisions of the Federal Records Act.  This provision does not apply to records transferred to the Archivist pursuant to section 2203 of title 44, United States Code, or records for which the National Archives serves as the custodian of the records of an agency or organization that has gone out of existence.

(e)  To the extent practicable, agencies shall adopt a system of records management that will facilitate the public release of documents at the time such documents are declassified pursuant to the provisions for automatic declassification in section 3.3 of this order.

Sec. 3.3.  Automatic Declassification.  (a)  Subject to paragraphs (b)–(d) and (g)–(j) of this section, all classified records that (1) are more than 25 years old and (2) have been determined to have permanent historical value under title 44, United States Code, shall be automatically declassified whether or not the records have been reviewed.  All classified records shall be automatically declassified on December 31 of the year that is 25 years from the date of origin, except as provided in paragraphs (b)–(d) and (g)–(i) of this section.  If the date of origin of an individual record cannot be readily determined, the date of original classification shall be used instead.

(b)  An agency head may exempt from automatic declassification under paragraph (a) of this section specific information, the release of which should clearly and demonstrably be expected to:

(1)  reveal the identity of a confidential human source, a human intelligence source, a relationship with an intelligence or security service of a foreign government or international organization, or a nonhuman intelligence source; or impair the effectiveness of an intelligence method currently in use, available for use, or under development;

(2)  reveal information that would assist in the development, production, or use of weapons of mass destruction;

(3)  reveal information that would impair U.S. cryptologic systems or activities;

(4)  reveal information that would impair the application of state-of-the-art technology within a U.S. weapon system;

(5)  reveal formally named or numbered U.S. military war plans that remain in effect, or reveal operational or tactical elements of prior plans that are contained in such active plans;

(6)  reveal information, including foreign government information, that would cause serious harm to relations between the United States and a foreign government, or to ongoing diplomatic activities of the United States;

(7)  reveal information that would impair the current ability of United States Government officials to protect the President, Vice President, and other protectees for whom protection services, in the interest of the national security, are authorized;

(8)  reveal information that would seriously impair current national security emergency preparedness plans or reveal current vulnerabilities of systems, installations, or infrastructures relating to the national security; or

(9)  violate a statute, treaty, or international agreement that does not permit the automatic or unilateral declassification of information at 25 years.

(c)(1)  An agency head shall notify the Panel of any specific file series of records for which a review or assessment has determined that the information within that file series almost invariably falls within one or more of the exemption categories listed in paragraph (b) of this section and that the agency proposes to exempt from automatic declassification at 25 years.

(2)  The notification shall include:

(A)  a description of the file series;

(B)  an explanation of why the information within the file series is almost invariably exempt from automatic declassification and why the information must remain classified for a longer period of time; and

(C)  except when the information within the file series almost invariably identifies a confidential human source or a human intelligence source or key design concepts of weapons of mass destruction, a specific date or event for declassification of the information, not to exceed December 31 of the year that is 50 years from the date of origin of the records.

(3)  The Panel may direct the agency not to exempt a designated file series or to declassify the information within that series at an earlier date than recommended.  The agency head may appeal such a decision to the President through the National Security Advisor.

(4)  File series exemptions approved by the President prior to December 31, 2008, shall remain valid without any additional agency action pending Panel review by the later of December 31, 2010, or December 31 of the year that is 10 years from the date of previous approval.

(d)  The following provisions shall apply to the onset of automatic declassification:

(1)  Classified records within an integral file block, as defined in this order, that are otherwise subject to automatic declassification under this section shall not be automatically declassified until December 31 of the year that is 25 years from the date of the most recent record within the file block.

(2)  After consultation with the Director of the National Declassification Center (the Center) established by section 3.7 of this order and before the records are subject to automatic declassification, an agency head or senior agency official may delay automatic declassification for up to five additional years for classified information contained in media that make a review for possible declassification exemptions more difficult or costly.

(3)  Other than for records that are properly exempted from automatic declassification, records containing classified information that originated with other agencies or the disclosure of which would affect the interests or activities of other agencies with respect to the classified information and could reasonably be expected to fall under one or more of the exemptions in paragraph (b) of this section shall be identified prior to the onset of automatic declassification for later referral to those agencies.

(A)  The information of concern shall be referred by the Center established by section 3.7 of this order, or by the centralized facilities referred to in section 3.7(e) of this order, in a prioritized and scheduled manner determined by the Center.

(B)  If an agency fails to provide a final determination on a referral made by the Center within 1 year of referral, or by the centralized facilities referred to in section 3.7(e) of this order within 3 years of referral, its equities in the referred records shall be automatically declassified.

(C)  If any disagreement arises between affected agencies and the Center regarding the referral review period, the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office shall determine the appropriate period of review of referred records.

(D)  Referrals identified prior to the establishment of the Center by section 3.7 of this order shall be subject to automatic declassification only in accordance with subparagraphs (d)(3)(A)–(C) of this section.

(4)  After consultation with the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office, an agency head may delay automatic declassification for up to 3 years from the date of discovery of classified records that were inadvertently not reviewed prior to the effective date of automatic declassification.

(e)  Information exempted from automatic declassification under this section shall remain subject to the mandatory and systematic declassification review provisions of this order.

(f)  The Secretary of State shall determine when the United States should commence negotiations with the appropriate officials of a foreign government or international organization of governments to modify any treaty or international agreement that requires the classification of information contained in records affected by this section for a period longer than 25 years from the date of its creation, unless the treaty or international agreement pertains to information that may otherwise remain classified beyond 25 years under this section.

(g)  The Secretary of Energy shall determine when information concerning foreign nuclear programs that was removed from the Restricted Data category in order to carry out provisions of the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, may be declassified.  Unless otherwise determined, such information shall be declassified when comparable information concerning the United States nuclear program is declassified.

(h)  Not later than 3 years from the effective date of this order, all records exempted from automatic declassification under paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section shall be automatically declassified on December 31 of a year that is no more than 50 years from the date of origin, subject to the following:

(1)  Records that contain information the release of which should clearly and demonstrably be expected to reveal the following are exempt from automatic declassification at 50 years:

(A)  the identity of a confidential human source or a human intelligence source; or

(B)  key design concepts of weapons of mass destruction.

(2)  In extraordinary cases, agency heads may, within 5 years of the onset of automatic declassification, propose to exempt additional specific information from declassification at 50 years.

(3)  Records exempted from automatic declassification under this paragraph shall be automatically declassified on December 31 of a year that is no more than 75 years from the date of origin unless an agency head, within 5 years of that date, proposes to exempt specific information from declassification at 75 years and the proposal is formally approved by the Panel.

(i)  Specific records exempted from automatic declassification prior to the establishment of the Center described in section 3.7 of this order shall be subject to the provisions of paragraph (h) of this section in a scheduled and prioritized manner determined by the Center.

(j)  At least 1 year before information is subject to automatic declassification under this section, an agency head or senior agency official shall notify the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office, serving as Executive Secretary of the Panel, of any specific information that the agency proposes to exempt from automatic declassification under paragraphs (b) and (h) of this section.

(1)  The notification shall include:

(A)  a detailed description of the information, either by reference to information in specific records or in the form of a declassification guide;

(B)  an explanation of why the information should be exempt from automatic declassification and must remain classified for a longer period of time; and

(C)  a specific date or a specific and independently verifiable event for automatic declassification of specific records that contain the information proposed for exemption.

(2)  The Panel may direct the agency not to exempt the information or to declassify it at an earlier date than recommended.  An agency head may appeal such a decision to the President through the National Security Advisor.  The information will remain classified while such an appeal is pending.

(k)  For information in a file series of records determined not to have permanent historical value, the duration of classification beyond 25 years shall be the same as the disposition (destruction) date of those records in each Agency Records Control Schedule or General Records Schedule, although the duration of classification shall be extended if the record has been retained for business reasons beyond the scheduled disposition date.

Sec. 3.4.  Systematic Declassification Review.  (a)  Each agency that has originated classified information under this order or its predecessors shall establish and conduct a program for systematic declassification review for records of permanent historical value exempted from automatic declassification under section 3.3 of this order.  Agencies shall prioritize their review of such records in accordance with priorities established by the Center.

(b)  The Archivist shall conduct a systematic declassification review program for classified records:  (1) accessioned into the National Archives; (2) transferred to the Archivist pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 2203; and (3) for which the National Archives serves as the custodian for an agency or organization that has gone out of existence.

Sec. 3.5.  Mandatory Declassification Review.  (a)  Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, all information classified under this order or predecessor orders shall be subject to a review for declassification by the originating agency if:

(1)  the request for a review describes the document or material containing the information with sufficient specificity to enable the agency to locate it with a reasonable amount of effort;

(2)  the document or material containing the information responsive to the request is not contained within an operational file exempted from search and review, publication, and disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552 in accordance with law; and

(3)  the information is not the subject of pending litigation.

(b)  Information originated by the incumbent President or the incumbent Vice President; the incumbent President’s White House Staff or the incumbent Vice President’s Staff; committees, commissions, or boards appointed by the incumbent President; or other entities within the Executive Office of the President that solely advise and assist the incumbent President is exempted from the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section.  However, the Archivist shall have the authority to review, downgrade, and declassify papers or records of former Presidents and Vice Presidents under the control of the Archivist pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 2107, 2111, 2111 note, or 2203.  Review procedures developed by the Archivist shall provide for consultation with agencies having primary subject matter interest and shall be consistent with the provisions of applicable laws or lawful agreements that pertain to the respective Presidential papers or records.  Agencies with primary subject matter interest shall be notified promptly of the Archivist’s decision.  Any final decision by the Archivist may be appealed by the requester or an agency to the Panel.  The information shall remain classified pending a prompt decision on the appeal.

(c)  Agencies conducting a mandatory review for declassification shall declassify information that no longer meets the standards for classification under this order.  They shall release this information unless withholding is otherwise authorized and warranted under applicable law.

(d)  If an agency has reviewed the requested information for declassification within the past 2 years, the agency need not conduct another review and may instead inform the requester of this fact and the prior review decision and advise the requester of appeal rights provided under subsection (e) of this section.

(e)  In accordance with directives issued pursuant to this order, agency heads shall develop procedures to process requests for the mandatory review of classified information.  These procedures shall apply to information classified under this or predecessor orders.  They also shall provide a means for administratively appealing a denial of a mandatory review request, and for notifying the requester of the right to appeal a final agency decision to the Panel.

(f)  After consultation with affected agencies, the Secretary of Defense shall develop special procedures for the review of cryptologic information; the Director of National Intelligence shall develop special procedures for the review of information pertaining to intelligence sources, methods, and activities; and the Archivist shall develop special procedures for the review of information accessioned into the National Archives.

(g)  Documents required to be submitted for prepublication review or other administrative process pursuant to an approved nondisclosure agreement are not covered by this section.

(h)  This section shall not apply to any request for a review made to an element of the Intelligence Community that is made by a person other than an individual as that term is defined by 5 U.S.C. 552a(a)(2), or by a foreign government entity or any representative thereof.

Sec. 3.6.  Processing Requests and Reviews.  Notwithstanding section 4.1(i) of this order, in response to a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, the Presidential Records Act, the Privacy Act of 1974, or the mandatory review provisions of this order:

(a)  An agency may refuse to confirm or deny the existence or nonexistence of requested records whenever the fact of their existence or nonexistence is itself classified under this order or its predecessors.

(b)  When an agency receives any request for documents in its custody that contain classified information that originated with other agencies or the disclosure of which would affect the interests or activities of other agencies with respect to the classified information, or identifies such documents in the process of implementing sections 3.3 or 3.4 of this order, it shall refer copies of any request and the pertinent documents to the originating agency for processing and may, after consultation with the originating agency, inform any requester of the referral unless such association is itself classified under this order or its predecessors.  In cases in which the originating agency determines in writing that a response under paragraph (a) of this section is required, the referring agency shall respond to the requester in accordance with that paragraph.

(c)  Agencies may extend the classification of information in records determined not to have permanent historical value or nonrecord materials, including artifacts, beyond the time frames established in sections 1.5(b) and 2.2(f) of this order, provided:

(1)  the specific information has been approved pursuant to section 3.3(j) of this order for exemption from automatic declassification; and

(2)  the extension does not exceed the date established in section 3.3(j) of this order.

Sec. 3.7.  National Declassification Center  (a)  There is established within the National Archives a National Declassification Center to streamline declassification processes, facilitate quality-assurance measures, and implement standardized training regarding the declassification of records determined to have permanent historical value.  There shall be a Director of the Center who shall be appointed or removed by the Archivist in consultation with the Secretaries of State, Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence.

(b)  Under the administration of the Director, the Center shall coordinate:

(1)  timely and appropriate processing of referrals in accordance with section 3.3(d)(3) of this order for accessioned Federal records and transferred presidential records.

(2)  general interagency declassification activities necessary to fulfill the requirements of sections 3.3 and 3.4 of this order;

(3)  the exchange among agencies of detailed declassification guidance to enable the referral of records in accordance with section 3.3(d)(3) of this order;

(4)  the development of effective, transparent, and standard declassification work processes, training, and quality assurance measures;

(5)  the development of solutions to declassification challenges posed by electronic records, special media, and emerging technologies;

(6)  the linkage and effective utilization of existing agency databases and the use of new technologies to document and make public declassification review decisions and support declassification activities under the purview of the Center; and

(7)  storage and related services, on a reimbursable basis, for Federal records containing classified national security information.

(c)  Agency heads shall fully cooperate with the Archivist in the activities of the Center and shall:

(1)  provide the Director with adequate and current declassification guidance to enable the referral of records in accordance with section 3.3(d)(3) of this order; and

(2)  upon request of the Archivist, assign agency personnel to the Center who shall be delegated authority by the agency head to review and exempt or declassify information originated by their agency contained in records accessioned into the National Archives, after consultation with subject-matter experts as necessary.

(d)  The Archivist, in consultation with representatives of the participants in the Center and after input from the general public, shall develop priorities for declassification activities under the purview of the Center that take into account the degree of researcher interest and the likelihood of declassification.

(e)  Agency heads may establish such centralized facilities and internal operations to conduct internal declassification reviews as appropriate to achieve optimized records management and declassification business processes.  Once established, all referral processing of accessioned records shall take place at the Center, and such agency facilities and operations shall be coordinated with the Center to ensure the maximum degree of consistency in policies and procedures that relate to records determined to have permanent historical value.

(f)  Agency heads may exempt from automatic declassification or continue the classification of their own originally classified information under section 3.3(a) of this order except that in the case of the Director of National Intelligence, the Director shall also retain such authority with respect to the Intelligence Community.

(g)  The Archivist shall, in consultation with the Secretaries of State, Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security, the Attorney General, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office, provide the National Security Advisor with a detailed concept of operations for the Center and a proposed implementing directive under section 5.1 of this order that reflects the coordinated views of the aforementioned agencies.

PART 4 — SAFEGUARDING

Sec. 4.1.  General Restrictions on Access.  (a)  A person may have access to classified information provided that:

(1)  a favorable determination of eligibility for access has been made by an agency head or the agency head’s designee;

(2)  the person has signed an approved nondisclosure agreement; and

(3)  the person has a need-to-know the information.

(b)  Every person who has met the standards for access to classified information in paragraph (a) of this section shall receive contemporaneous training on the proper safeguarding of classified information and on the criminal, civil, and administrative sanctions that may be imposed on an individual who fails to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure.

(c)  An official or employee leaving agency service may not remove classified information from the agency’s control or direct that information be declassified in order to remove it from agency control.

(d)  Classified information may not be removed from official premises without proper authorization.

(e)  Persons authorized to disseminate classified information outside the executive branch shall ensure the protection of the information in a manner equivalent to that provided within the executive branch.

(f)  Consistent with law, executive orders, directives, and regulations, an agency head or senior agency official or, with respect to the Intelligence Community, the Director of National Intelligence, shall establish uniform procedures to ensure that automated information systems, including networks and telecommunications systems, that collect, create, communicate, compute, disseminate, process, or store classified information:

(1)  prevent access by unauthorized persons;

(2)  ensure the integrity of the information; and

(3)  to the maximum extent practicable, use:

(A)  common information technology standards, protocols, and interfaces that maximize the availability of, and access to, the information in a form and manner that facilitates its authorized use; and

(B)  standardized electronic formats to maximize the accessibility of information to persons who meet the criteria set forth in section 4.1(a) of this order.

(g)  Consistent with law, executive orders, directives, and regulations, each agency head or senior agency official, or with respect to the Intelligence Community, the Director of National Intelligence, shall establish controls to ensure that classified information is used, processed, stored, reproduced, transmitted, and destroyed under conditions that provide adequate protection and prevent access by unauthorized persons.

(h)  Consistent with directives issued pursuant to this order, an agency shall safeguard foreign government information under standards that provide a degree of protection at least equivalent to that required by the government or international organization of governments that furnished the information.  When adequate to achieve equivalency, these standards may be less restrictive than the safeguarding standards that ordinarily apply to U.S. “Confidential” information, including modified handling and transmission and allowing access to individuals with a need-to-know who have not otherwise been cleared for access to classified information or executed an approved nondisclosure agreement.

(i)(1)  Classified information originating in one agency may be disseminated to another agency or U.S. entity by any agency to which it has been made available without the consent of the originating agency, as long as the criteria for access under section 4.1(a) of this order are met, unless the originating agency has determined that prior authorization is required for such dissemination and has marked or indicated such requirement on the medium containing the classified information in accordance with implementing directives issued pursuant to this order.

(2)  Classified information originating in one agency may be disseminated by any other agency to which it has been made available to a foreign government in accordance with statute, this order, directives implementing this order, direction of the President, or with the consent of the originating agency.  For the purposes of this section, “foreign government” includes any element of a foreign government, or an international organization of governments, or any element thereof.

(3)  Documents created prior to the effective date of this order shall not be disseminated outside any other agency to which they have been made available without the consent of the originating agency.  An agency head or senior agency official may waive this requirement for specific information that originated within that agency.

(4)  For purposes of this section, the Department of Defense shall be considered one agency, except that any dissemination of information regarding intelligence sources, methods, or activities shall be consistent with directives issued pursuant to section 6.2(b) of this order.

(5)  Prior consent of the originating agency is not required when referring records for declassification review that contain information originating in more than one agency.

Sec. 4.2.  Distribution Controls.  (a)  The head of each agency shall establish procedures in accordance with applicable law and consistent with directives issued pursuant to this order to ensure that classified information is accessible to the maximum extent possible by individuals who meet the criteria set forth in section 4.1(a) of this order.

(b)  In an emergency, when necessary to respond to an imminent threat to life or in defense of the homeland, the agency head or any designee may authorize the disclosure of classified information (including information marked pursuant to section 4.1(i)(1) of this order) to an individual or individuals who are otherwise not eligible for access.  Such actions shall be taken only in accordance with directives implementing this order and any procedure issued by agencies governing the classified information, which shall be designed to minimize the classified information that is disclosed under these circumstances and the number of individuals who receive it.  Information disclosed under this provision or implementing directives and procedures shall not be deemed declassified as a result of such disclosure or subsequent use by a recipient.  Such disclosures shall be reported promptly to the originator of the classified information.  For purposes of this section, the Director of National Intelligence may issue an implementing directive governing the emergency disclosure of classified intelligence information.

(c)  Each agency shall update, at least annually, the automatic, routine, or recurring distribution mechanism for classified information that it distributes.  Recipients shall cooperate fully with distributors who are updating distribution lists and shall notify distributors whenever a relevant change in status occurs.

Sec. 4.3.  Special Access Programs.  (a)  Establishment of special access programs.  Unless otherwise authorized by the President, only the Secretaries of State, Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence, or the principal deputy of each, may create a special access program.  For special access programs pertaining to intelligence sources, methods, and activities (but not including military operational, strategic, and tactical programs), this function shall be exercised by the Director of National Intelligence.  These officials shall keep the number of these programs at an absolute minimum, and shall establish them only when the program is required by statute or upon a specific finding that:

(1)  the vulnerability of, or threat to, specific information is exceptional; and

(2)  the normal criteria for determining eligibility for access applicable to information classified at the same level are not deemed sufficient to protect the information from unauthorized disclosure.

(b)  Requirements and limitations.  (1)  Special access programs shall be limited to programs in which the number of persons who ordinarily will have access will be reasonably small and commensurate with the objective of providing enhanced protection for the information involved.

(2)  Each agency head shall establish and maintain a system of accounting for special access programs consistent with directives issued pursuant to this order.

(3)  Special access programs shall be subject to the oversight program established under section 5.4(d) of this order.  In addition, the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office shall be afforded access to these programs, in accordance with the security requirements of each program, in order to perform the functions assigned to the Information Security Oversight Office under this order.  An agency head may limit access to a special access program to the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office and no more than one other employee of the Information Security Oversight Office or, for special access programs that are extraordinarily sensitive and vulnerable, to the Director only.

(4)  The agency head or principal deputy shall review annually each special access program to determine whether it continues to meet the requirements of this order.

(5)  Upon request, an agency head shall brief the National Security Advisor, or a designee, on any or all of the agency’s special access programs.

(6)  For the purposes of this section, the term “agency head” refers only to the Secretaries of State, Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence, or the principal deputy of each.

(c)  Nothing in this order shall supersede any requirement made by or under 10 U.S.C. 119.

Sec. 4.4.  Access by Historical Researchers and Certain Former Government Personnel.  (a)  The requirement in section 4.1(a)(3) of this order that access to classified information may be granted only to individuals who have a need to-know the information may be waived for persons who:

(1)  are engaged in historical research projects;

(2)  previously have occupied senior policy-making positions to which they were appointed or designated by the President or the Vice President; or

(3)  served as President or Vice President.

(b)  Waivers under this section may be granted only if the agency head or senior agency official of the originating agency:

(1)  determines in writing that access is consistent with the interest of the national security;

(2)  takes appropriate steps to protect classified information from unauthorized disclosure or compromise, and ensures that the information is safeguarded in a manner consistent with this order; and

(3)  limits the access granted to former Presidential appointees or designees and Vice Presidential appointees or designees to items that the person originated, reviewed, signed, or received while serving as a Presidential or Vice Presidential appointee or designee.

PART 5 — IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW

Sec. 5.1.  Program Direction.  (a)  The Director of the Information Security Oversight Office, under the direction of the Archivist and in consultation with the National Security Advisor, shall issue such directives as are necessary to implement this order.  These directives shall be binding on the agencies.  Directives issued by the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office shall establish standards for:

(1)  classification, declassification, and marking principles;

(2)  safeguarding classified information, which shall pertain to the handling, storage, distribution, transmittal, and destruction of and accounting for classified information;

(3)  agency security education and training programs;

(4)  agency self-inspection programs; and

(5)  classification and declassification guides.

(b)  The Archivist shall delegate the implementation and monitoring functions of this program to the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office.

(c)  The Director of National Intelligence, after consultation with the heads of affected agencies and the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office, may issue directives to implement this order with respect to the protection of intelligence sources, methods, and activities.  Such directives shall be consistent with this order and directives issued under paragraph (a) of this section.

Sec. 5.2.  Information Security Oversight Office.  (a)  There is established within the National Archives an Information Security Oversight Office.  The Archivist shall appoint the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office, subject to the approval of the President.

(b)  Under the direction of the Archivist, acting in consultation with the National Security Advisor, the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office shall:

(1)  develop directives for the implementation of this order;

(2)  oversee agency actions to ensure compliance with this order and its implementing directives;

(3)  review and approve agency implementing regulations prior to their issuance to ensure their consistency with this order and directives issued under section 5.1(a) of this order;

(4)  have the authority to conduct on-site reviews of each agency’s program established under this order, and to require of each agency those reports and information and other cooperation that may be necessary to fulfill its responsibilities.  If granting access to specific categories of classified information would pose an exceptional national security risk, the affected agency head or the senior agency official shall submit a written justification recommending the denial of access to the President through the National Security Advisor within 60 days of the request for access.  Access shall be denied pending the response;

(5)  review requests for original classification authority from agencies or officials not granted original classification authority and, if deemed appropriate, recommend Presidential approval through the National Security Advisor;

(6)  consider and take action on complaints and suggestions from persons within or outside the Government with respect to the administration of the program established under this order;

(7)  have the authority to prescribe, after consultation with affected agencies, standardization of forms or procedures that will promote the implementation of the program established under this order;

(8)  report at least annually to the President on the implementation of this order; and

(9)  convene and chair interagency meetings to discuss matters pertaining to the program established by this order.

Sec. 5.3.  Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel.

(a)  Establishment and administration.

(1)  There is established an Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel.  The Departments of State, Defense, and Justice, the National Archives, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Security Advisor shall each be represented by a senior-level representative who is a full-time or permanent part-time Federal officer or employee designated to serve as a member of the Panel by the respective agency head.  The President shall designate a Chair from among the members of the Panel.

(2)  Additionally, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency may appoint a temporary representative who meets the criteria in paragraph (a)(1) of this section to participate as a voting member in all Panel deliberations and associated support activities concerning classified information originated by the Central Intelligence Agency.

(3)  A vacancy on the Panel shall be filled as quickly as possible as provided in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(4)  The Director of the Information Security Oversight Office shall serve as the Executive Secretary of the Panel.  The staff of the Information Security Oversight Office shall provide program and administrative support for the Panel.

(5)  The members and staff of the Panel shall be required to meet eligibility for access standards in order to fulfill the Panel’s functions.

(6)  The Panel shall meet at the call of the Chair.  The Chair shall schedule meetings as may be necessary for the Panel to fulfill its functions in a timely manner.

(7)  The Information Security Oversight Office shall include in its reports to the President a summary of the Panel’s activities.

(b)  Functions.  The Panel shall:

(1)  decide on appeals by persons who have filed classification challenges under section 1.8 of this order;

(2)  approve, deny, or amend agency exemptions from automatic declassification as provided in section 3.3 of this order;

(3)  decide on appeals by persons or entities who have filed requests for mandatory declassification review under section 3.5 of this order; and

(4)  appropriately inform senior agency officials and the public of final Panel decisions on appeals under sections 1.8 and 3.5 of this order.

(c)  Rules and procedures.  The Panel shall issue bylaws, which shall be published in the Federal Register.  The bylaws shall establish the rules and procedures that the Panel will follow in accepting, considering, and issuing decisions on appeals.  The rules and procedures of the Panel shall provide that the Panel will consider appeals only on actions in which:

(1)  the appellant has exhausted his or her administrative remedies within the responsible agency;

(2)  there is no current action pending on the issue within the Federal courts; and

(3)  the information has not been the subject of review by the Federal courts or the Panel within the past 2 years.

(d)  Agency heads shall cooperate fully with the Panel so that it can fulfill its functions in a timely and fully informed manner.  The Panel shall report to the President through the National Security Advisor any instance in which it believes that an agency head is not cooperating fully with the Panel.

(e)  The Panel is established for the sole purpose of advising and assisting the President in the discharge of his constitutional and discretionary authority to protect the national security of the United States.  Panel decisions are committed to the discretion of the Panel, unless changed by the President.

(f)  An agency head may appeal a decision of the Panel to the President through the National Security Advisor.  The information shall remain classified pending a decision on the appeal.

Sec. 5.4.  General Responsibilities.  Heads of agencies that originate or handle classified information shall:

(a)  demonstrate personal commitment and commit senior management to the successful implementation of the program established under this order;

(b)  commit necessary resources to the effective implementation of the program established under this order;

(c)  ensure that agency records systems are designed and maintained to optimize the appropriate sharing and safeguarding of classified information, and to facilitate its declassification under the terms of this order when it no longer meets the standards for continued classification; and

(d)  designate a senior agency official to direct and administer the program, whose responsibilities shall include:

(1)  overseeing the agency’s program established under this order, provided an agency head may designate a separate official to oversee special access programs authorized under this order.  This official shall provide a full accounting of the agency’s special access programs at least annually;

(2)  promulgating implementing regulations, which shall be published in the Federal Register to the extent that they affect members of the public;

(3)  establishing and maintaining security education and training programs;

(4)  establishing and maintaining an ongoing self inspection program, which shall include the regular reviews of representative samples of the agency’s original and derivative classification actions, and shall authorize appropriate agency officials to correct misclassification actions not covered by sections 1.7(c) and 1.7(d) of this order; and reporting annually to the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office on the agency’s self-inspection program;

(5)  establishing procedures consistent with directives issued pursuant to this order to prevent unnecessary access to classified information, including procedures that:

(A)  require that a need for access to classified information be established before initiating administrative clearance procedures; and

(B)  ensure that the number of persons granted access to classified information meets the mission needs of the agency while also satisfying operational and security requirements and needs;

(6)  developing special contingency plans for the safeguarding of classified information used in or near hostile or potentially hostile areas;

(7)  ensuring that the performance contract or other system used to rate civilian or military personnel performance includes the designation and management of classified information as a critical element or item to be evaluated in the rating of:

(A)  original classification authorities;

(B)  security managers or security specialists; and

(C)  all other personnel whose duties significantly involve the creation or handling of classified information, including personnel who regularly apply derivative classification markings;

(8)  accounting for the costs associated with the implementation of this order, which shall be reported to the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office for publication;

(9)  assigning in a prompt manner agency personnel to respond to any request, appeal, challenge, complaint, or suggestion arising out of this order that pertains to classified information that originated in a component of the agency that no longer exists and for which there is no clear successor in function; and

(10)  establishing a secure capability to receive information, allegations, or complaints regarding over-classification or incorrect classification within the agency and to provide guidance to personnel on proper classification as needed.

Sec. 5.5.  Sanctions.  (a)  If the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office finds that a violation of this order or its implementing directives has occurred, the Director shall make a report to the head of the agency or to the senior agency official so that corrective steps, if appropriate, may be taken.

(b)  Officers and employees of the United States Government, and its contractors, licensees, certificate holders, and grantees shall be subject to appropriate sanctions if they knowingly, willfully, or negligently:

(1)  disclose to unauthorized persons information properly classified under this order or predecessor orders;

(2)  classify or continue the classification of information in violation of this order or any implementing directive;

(3)  create or continue a special access program contrary to the requirements of this order; or

(4)  contravene any other provision of this order or its implementing directives.

(c)  Sanctions may include reprimand, suspension without pay, removal, termination of classification authority, loss or denial of access to classified information, or other sanctions in accordance with applicable law and agency regulation.

(d)  The agency head, senior agency official, or other supervisory official shall, at a minimum, promptly remove the classification authority of any individual who demonstrates reckless disregard or a pattern of error in applying the classification standards of this order.

(e)  The agency head or senior agency official shall:

(1)  take appropriate and prompt corrective action when a violation or infraction under paragraph (b) of this section occurs; and

(2)  notify the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office when a violation under paragraph (b)(1), (2), or (3) of this section occurs.

PART 6 — GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 6.1.  Definitions.  For purposes of this order:

(a)  “Access” means the ability or opportunity to gain knowledge of classified information.

(b)  “Agency” means any “Executive agency,” as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105; any “Military department” as defined in 5 U.S.C. 102; and any other entity within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information.

(c)  “Authorized holder” of classified information means anyone who satisfies the conditions for access stated in section 4.1(a) of this order.

(d)  “Automated information system” means an assembly of computer hardware, software, or firmware configured to collect, create, communicate, compute, disseminate, process, store, or control data or information.

(e)  “Automatic declassification” means the declassification of information based solely upon:

(1)  the occurrence of a specific date or event as determined by the original classification authority; or

(2)  the expiration of a maximum time frame for duration of classification established under this order.

(f)  “Classification” means the act or process by which information is determined to be classified information.

(g)  “Classification guidance” means any instruction or source that prescribes the classification of specific information.

(h)  “Classification guide” means a documentary form of classification guidance issued by an original classification authority that identifies the elements of information regarding a specific subject that must be classified and establishes the level and duration of classification for each such element.

(i)  “Classified national security information” or “classified information” means information that has been determined pursuant to this order or any predecessor order to require protection against unauthorized disclosure and is marked to indicate its classified status when in documentary form.

(j)  “Compilation” means an aggregation of preexisting unclassified items of information.

(k)  “Confidential source” means any individual or organization that has provided, or that may reasonably be expected to provide, information to the United States on matters pertaining to the national security with the expectation that the information or relationship, or both, are to be held in confidence.

(l)  “Damage to the national security” means harm to the national defense or foreign relations of the United States from the unauthorized disclosure of information, taking into consideration such aspects of the information as the sensitivity, value, utility, and provenance of that information.

(m)  “Declassification” means the authorized change in the status of information from classified information to unclassified information.

(n)  “Declassification guide” means written instructions issued by a declassification authority that describes the elements of information regarding a specific subject that may be declassified and the elements that must remain classified.

(o)  “Derivative classification” means the incorporating, paraphrasing, restating, or generating in new form information that is already classified, and marking the newly developed material consistent with the classification markings that apply to the source information.  Derivative classification includes the classification of information based on classification guidance.  The duplication or reproduction of existing classified information is not derivative classification.

(p)  “Document” means any recorded information, regardless of the nature of the medium or the method or circumstances of recording.

(q)  “Downgrading” means a determination by a declassification authority that information classified and safeguarded at a specified level shall be classified and safeguarded at a lower level.

(r)  “File series” means file units or documents arranged according to a filing system or kept together because they relate to a particular subject or function, result from the same activity, document a specific kind of transaction, take a particular physical form, or have some other relationship arising out of their creation, receipt, or use, such as restrictions on access or use.

(s)  “Foreign government information” means:
(1)  information provided to the United States Government by a foreign government or governments,
an international organization of governments, or any element thereof, with the expectation that the information, the source of the information, or both, are to be held in confidence;

(2)  information produced by the United States Government pursuant to or as a result of a joint arrangement with a foreign government or governments, or an international organization of governments, or any element thereof, requiring that the information, the arrangement, or both, are to be held in confidence; or

(3)  information received and treated as “foreign government information” under the terms of a predecessor order.

(t)  “Information” means any knowledge that can be communicated or documentary material, regardless of its physical form or characteristics, that is owned by, is produced by or for, or is under the control of the United States Government.

(u)  “Infraction” means any knowing, willful, or negligent action contrary to the requirements of this order or its implementing directives that does not constitute a “violation,” as defined below.

(v)  “Integral file block” means a distinct component of a file series, as defined in this section, that should be maintained as a separate unit in order to ensure the integrity of the records.  An integral file block may consist of a set of records covering either a specific topic or a range of time, such as a Presidential administration or a 5-year retirement schedule within a specific file series that is retired from active use as a group.  For purposes of automatic
declassification, integral file blocks shall contain only records dated within 10 years of the oldest record in the file block.

(w)  “Integrity” means the state that exists when information is unchanged from its source and has not been accidentally or intentionally modified, altered, or destroyed.

(x)  “Intelligence” includes foreign intelligence and counterintelligence as defined by Executive Order 12333 of December 4, 1981, as amended, or by a successor order.

(y)  “Intelligence activities” means all activities that elements of the Intelligence Community are authorized to conduct pursuant to law or Executive Order 12333, as amended, or a successor order.

(z)  “Intelligence Community” means an element or agency of the U.S. Government identified in or designated pursuant to section 3(4) of the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, or section 3.5(h) of Executive Order 12333, as amended.

(aa)  “Mandatory declassification review” means the review for declassification of classified information in response to a request for declassification that meets the requirements under section 3.5 of this order.

(bb)  “Multiple sources” means two or more source documents, classification guides, or a combination of both.

(cc)  “National security” means the national defense or foreign relations of the United States.

(dd)  “Need-to-know” means a determination within the executive branch in accordance with directives issued pursuant to this order that a prospective recipient requires access to specific classified information in order to perform or assist in a lawful and authorized governmental function.

(ee)  “Network” means a system of two or more computers that can exchange data or information.

(ff)  “Original classification” means an initial determination that information requires, in the interest of the national security, protection against unauthorized disclosure.

(gg)  “Original classification authority” means an individual authorized in writing, either by the President, the Vice President, or by agency heads or other officials designated by the President, to classify information in the first instance.

(hh)  “Records” means the records of an agency and Presidential papers or Presidential records, as those terms are defined in title 44, United States Code, including those created or maintained by a government contractor, licensee, certificate holder, or grantee that are subject to the sponsoring agency’s control under the terms of the contract, license, certificate, or grant.

(ii)  “Records having permanent historical value” means Presidential papers or Presidential records and the records of an agency that the Archivist has determined should be maintained permanently in accordance with title 44, United States Code.

(jj)  “Records management” means the planning, controlling, directing, organizing, training, promoting, and other managerial activities involved with respect to records creation, records maintenance and use, and records disposition in order to achieve adequate and proper documentation of the policies and transactions of the Federal Government and effective and economical management of agency operations.

(kk)  “Safeguarding” means measures and controls that are prescribed to protect classified information.

(ll)  “Self-inspection” means the internal review and evaluation of individual agency activities and the agency as a whole with respect to the implementation of the program established under this order and its implementing directives.

(mm)  “Senior agency official” means the official designated by the agency head under section 5.4(d) of this order to direct and administer the agency’s program under which information is classified, safeguarded, and declassified.

(nn)  “Source document” means an existing document that contains classified information that is incorporated, paraphrased, restated, or generated in new form into a new document.

(oo)  “Special access program” means a program established for a specific class of classified information that imposes safeguarding and access requirements that exceed those normally required for information at the same classification level.

(pp)  “Systematic declassification review” means the review for declassification of classified information contained in records that have been determined by the Archivist to have permanent historical value in accordance with title 44, United States Code.

(qq)  “Telecommunications” means the preparation, transmission, or communication of information by electronic means.

(rr)  “Unauthorized disclosure” means a communication or physical transfer of classified information to an unauthorized recipient.

(ss)  “U.S. entity” includes:

(1)  State, local, or tribal governments;

(2)  State, local, and tribal law enforcement and firefighting entities;

(3)  public health and medical entities;

(4)  regional, state, local, and tribal emergency management entities, including State Adjutants General and other appropriate public safety entities; or

(5)  private sector entities serving as part of the nation’s Critical Infrastructure/Key Resources.

(tt)  “Violation” means:

(1)  any knowing, willful, or negligent action that could reasonably be expected to result in an unauthorized disclosure of classified information;

(2)  any knowing, willful, or negligent action to classify or continue the classification of information contrary to the requirements of this order or its implementing directives; or

(3)  any knowing, willful, or negligent action to create or continue a special access program contrary to the requirements of this order.

(uu)  “Weapons of mass destruction” means any weapon of mass destruction as defined in 50 U.S.C. 1801(p).

Sec. 6.2.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall supersede any requirement made by or under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the National Security Act of 1947, as amended.  “Restricted Data” and “Formerly Restricted Data” shall be handled, protected, classified, downgraded, and declassified in conformity with the provisions of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, and regulations issued under that Act.

(b)  The Director of National Intelligence may, with respect to the Intelligence Community and after consultation with the heads of affected departments and agencies, issue such policy directives and guidelines as the Director of National Intelligence deems necessary to implement this order with respect to the classification and declassification of all intelligence and intelligence-related information, and for access to and dissemination of all intelligence and intelligence-related information, both in its final form and in the form when initially gathered.  Procedures or other guidance issued by Intelligence Community element heads shall be in accordance with such policy directives or guidelines issued by the Director of National Intelligence.  Any such policy directives or guidelines issued by the Director of National Intelligence shall be in accordance with directives issued by the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office under section 5.1(a) of this order.

(c)  The Attorney General, upon request by the head of an agency or the Director of the Information Security Oversight Office, shall render an interpretation of this order with respect to any question arising in the course of its administration.

(d)  Nothing in this order limits the protection afforded any information by other provisions of law, including the Constitution, Freedom of Information Act exemptions, the Privacy Act of 1974, and the National Security Act of 1947, as amended.  This order is not intended to and does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.  The foregoing is in addition to the specific provisos set forth in sections 1.1(b), 3.1(c) and 5.3(e) of this order.

(e)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to obligate action or otherwise affect functions by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(f)  This order shall be implemented subject to the availability of appropriations.

(g)  Executive Order 12958 of April 17, 1995, and amendments thereto, including Executive Order 13292 of March 25, 2003, are hereby revoked as of the effective date of this order.

Sec. 6.3.  Effective Date.  This order is effective 180 days from the date of this order, except for sections 1.7, 3.3, and 3.7, which are effective immediately.

Sec. 6.4.  Publication.  The Archivist of the United States shall publish this Executive Order in the Federal Register.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 29, 2009.

# # #

 

Resources:

Executive Order 13526

NSA Refuses FOIA Request on MalaysiaFlight

Executive Privilege in the Field of Intelligence CIA

Former Malaysian PM Accuses CIA of Withholding

5 Missing Flights That Eerily Echo MH370

 

Think You Can Live Offline Without Being Tracked?

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Nico Sell, the co-founder of a secure communication app called Wickr, has appeared on television twice. Both times, she wore sunglasses to prevent viewers from getting a full picture of what she looks like.

Sell, also an organizer of the hacker conference Def Con, places herself in the top 1% of the “super paranoid.” She doesn’t have a Facebook account. She keeps the device that pays her tolls in a transmission-proof envelope when it’s not in use. And she assumes that every phone call she makes and every email she sends will be searchable by the general public at some point in the future.

Many of her friends once considered her habits to be of the tin-foil-hat-wearing variety. But with this summer’s revelations of the NSA’s broad surveillance program, they’re starting to look a little more logical. “For the last couple of months,” Sell says, “My friends that are not in the security industry come up to me, and I hear this all the time, ‘You were right.’ ”

But even as more people become aware they are being tracked throughout their daily lives, few understand to what extent. In a recent Pew Internet study, 37% of respondents said they thought it was possible to be completely anonymous online. From experts like Sell, you’ll get a different range of answers about whether it’s possible to live without any data trail: “100% no,” she says.

The people who have actually attempted to live without being tracked–most often due to a safety threat–will tell you that security cameras are just about everywhere, RFID tags seem to be in everything, and almost any movement results in becoming part of a database. “It’s basically impossible for you and I to decide, as of tomorrow, I’m going to remain off the radar and to survive for a month or 12 months,” says Gunter Ollmann, the CTO of security firm IOActive, who in his former work with law enforcement had several coworkers who dedicated themselves to remaining anonymous for the safety of their families. “The amount of prep work you have to do in order to stay off the radar involves years of investment leading up to that.”

Fast Company interviewed the most tracking-conscious people we could find about their strategies for staying anonymous to different degrees. Here are just a handful of daily, offline tasks that get more complicated if you’re avoiding surveillance.

1. Getting Places

A few years ago, a man who goes by the Internet handlePuking Monkey” noticed devices reading his toll pass in places where there weren’t any tolls. He assumed that they were being used to track drivers’ movements. “People would say, ‘Well you don’t know that, because it doesn’t tell you when it tracks you,’” he tells Fast Company. “I said, ‘Okay, I’ll go prove it.’ ”

He rigged his pass to make a mooing cow noise every time a device read his toll payment tag. And sure enough, it went off in front of Macy’s, near Time Square, and in several other places where there was no tollbooth in sight.

It turns out the city tracks toll passes in order to obtain real-time traffic information, a benign enough intention. But what worries people like Puking Monkey about being tracked is rarely a database’s intended purpose. It’s that someone with access to the database will misuse it, like when NSA employees have spied on love interests, A U.K. immigration officer once put his wife on a list of terrorist suspects in order to prevent her from flying into the country. Or that it will be used for a purpose other than one it was built for, like when social security numbers were issued for retirement savings and then expanded to become universal identifiers. Or, most likely, that it will be stolen, like the many times a hacker group called Anonymous gains access to someone’s personal data and posts it online for public viewing. By one security company’s count, in 2012 there were 2,644 reported data breeches involving 267 million records.

In order to stop his toll pass from being tracked, Puking Monkey keeps it sealed in the foil bag it came in when he’s not driving through a toll. That only stops that data trail (minus toll points). Automatic license plate readers, often mounted to a police car or street sign, are also logging data about where cars appear. They typically take photos of every license plate that passes them and often these photos remain stored in a database for years. Sometimes they are linked with other databases to help solve crimes.

Puking Monkey avoids license-plate readers by keeping his old, non-reflective license plate, which is more difficult to read than newer, reflective models. Others who share his concerns salt their license plates, add bumper guards or otherwise obscure the writing–say by driving with the hatch down or driving with a trailer hatch attached—in order to avoid being tracked.

But that still doesn’t account for the tracking devices attached to the car itself. To identify tires, which can come in handy if they’re recalled, tire manufacturers insert an RFID tag with a unique code that can be read from about 20 feet away by an RFID reader. “I have no way to know if it’s actually being tracked, but there are unique numbers in those tires that could be used that way,” Puking Monkey says.

He uses a camera flash to zap his tires with enough energy to destroy the chips.

2. Buying things

Depending on your level of concern, there are several ways to produce less data exhaust when making purchases. None of the privacy experts who I spoke with sign up for loyalty cards, for instance. “It’s the link between your home address, what you’re purchasing, age, your movements around the country, when you’re shopping in different locations, that is tied to purchases you’re making in-store,” Ollmann says. In a recently publicized example, Target used data collected from loyalty cards to deduce when its customers were pregnant–in some cases, before they had shared the news with their families.

Tom Ritter, a principal security consultant at iSEC Partners, has come up with a creative way to subvert loyalty tracking without giving up discounts. When he sees someone has a card on their key chain, he asks if he can take a photo of the bar code to use with his own purchases. They get extra points, and he gets discounts without giving up any of his privacy.

What you buy can paint a pretty good picture of what you’re doing, and many people aren’t willing to leave that information in a credit card company’s database either. Adam Havey, an artist who makes anti-surveillance gear, puts all of his purchases on a credit card registered under a fake name. Then he uses the credit card in his actual name to pay the bill (Update: Harvey clarified that this is a technique he heard about from Julia Angwin, who is writing a book about surveillance). Ollmann buys prepaid gift cards with no attribution back to him to do his online shopping.

The most intense privacy seekers have a strict cash-only policy–which can mean they need to get paid in cash. At Ollmann’s old law enforcement job, one employee didn’t get paid, but vaguely “traded his services for other services.”

“A barter system starts to appear if you want to live without being tracked,” Ollmann says.

3. Having Friends

Friends can be an impediment to a life off the radar. For one, they probably think they’re doing you a favor when they invite you to a party using Evite, add you to LinkedIn or Facebook, or keep your information in a contact book that they sync with their computer.

But from your perspective, as someone trying to remain as untraceable as possible, they are selling you out. “Basically what they’ve done is uploaded all of my contact information and connected it to them,” Sell says.

Same goes for photos, and their geolocation metadata, when they’re added to social networking sites. Sell, with her sunglasses, is not alone in being concerned about putting her appearance online. At some security events, where there are often speakers and attendees with reasons to keep off the radar, organizers distribute name tags with different color stickers. The stickers indicate whether each attendee is okay with having his or her photo taken.

PhotoDNASure, it seems paranoid today. But Facebook and Twitter already run photos posted on their sites through a Microsoft-developed system called PhotoDNA in order to flag those who match known child pornography images. Most would not argue with the intention to find and prosecute child pornographers, though it’s not difficult for privacy activists to imagine how the same technology could be expanded to other crimes. “Every time you upload a photograph to Facebook or put one on Twitter for that matter you are now ratting out anybody in that frame to any police agency in the world that’s looking for them,” digital privacy advocate Eben Moglen told BetaBeat last year during a rant against one of its reporters. “Some police agencies in the world are evil. That’s a pretty serious thing you’ve just done.”

Ritter says he (not his company) personally thinks someone will build a facial recognition algorithm to scan the Internet with. “I can just imagine them opening it up where you would submit a Facebook photo of your friend, and it would show all the images that match it,” he says. “We have the algorithms, we know how to crawl the Internet. It’s just a matter of putting the two together and getting a budget.” [Note: this is already in place]

4. Just About Everything Else

It’s almost impossible to think of all the data you create on a daily basis. Even something as simple as using electricity is creating data about your habits. It’s more than whether or not you turned the lights on–it’s how many people are in your house and when you’re usually around.

RFID tags aren’t just in tires, they’re in your clothing, your tap-to-pay credit cards, and your dry cleaning. Ollmann zaps his T-shirts in the microwave. Others carry an RFID-blocking wallet to avoid having their RFID-enabled cards read when they’re not making a purchase.

RFID-blocking walletMaybe you’ve thought about the cameras that stores use to track customer movements. But cameras are also in your television, in your computer, and on the front of your phone. Earlier this year, security experts discovered a way to hack into Samsung Smart TVs and surreptitiously turn on the built-in camera, allowing anyone who exploited the security hole to watch you as you watched TV. Though the vulnerability has since been fixed, it demonstrated that the security of connected objects isn’t guaranteed. Sell responded by covering all of the cameras in her household electronics with masking tape.

What makes totally avoiding surveillance really difficult is that even if you’ve thought of everything–to the point where you’re covering your tablet’s front-facing camera with masking tape–you can always think of more ways your data could be misused. Because you’re constantly trying to prevent something that hasn’t necessarily happened yet, the precautions you can take are just as endless.

Sometimes, as in the case of the NSA scandal, you find out that they were warranted. Most of the time, you never really know.

Ritter, for instance, recently met an insurance executive who always pays for meals with cash because he believes some day that data will be linked to his coverage. “I’m not saying this is a definite thing that happens,” Ritter says. “but I don’t see any definite reason why it couldn’t.”

“And that kind of concerns me, ya know?”

 

 

 

Related:

Wickr | Top Secret Messenger

Puking Monkey – Macresource Forums

live offline without being tracked

Which Encryption Apps Are Strong Enough To Help You

PhotoDNA Newsroom

Twitter To Implement Microsoft’s PhotoDNA System To Block

RFID chips in your car’s tires

The WHO Has Issued A Report On “Experimental Therapies” for Ebola

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Ebola Medicine ApprovedSeptember 27, 2014

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a report on “Experimental therapies” for Ebola.

It informs of interests and instances where convalescent blood and plasma and other experimental therapies were applied. However, data is limited and more studies are needed to establish the effectiveness of these therapies. In light of the worsening epidemic, WHO is consulting with experts to identify challenges related to rapid scaling up and implementation of convalescent therapies. “One great appeal of this drive to assess and introduce convalescent therapies is the opportunity to strengthen basic public health infrastructures by helping these countries develop good quality blood services.” 

Also, media sources quoted WHO officials anticipating availability of two experimental Ebola vaccines for small scale use by early 2015. The limited doses are likely to be offered to health care workers and frontline workers. Meanwhile, blood transfusion from Ebola survivors may be treated as an option for treatment.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is reviewing data on experimental Ebola treatment to help health authorities take “evidence based decision-making”.

WHO Roadmap: The  update reports a total of 6553 cases and 3083 deaths in the ongoing outbreak. It carries updates on current situation for all Ebola affected countries. Read more on country pages for Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone

Aid: International Monetary Fund (IMF) plans to support Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone with funds over 125 million to deal with the social and economic crises caused by the Ebola outbreak. 

In a separate event, G-7 Foreign Ministers issued a joint statement pledging support to the affected countries. They also made an appeal to other countries to extend assistance for stopping Ebola.

France: A French nurse confirmed with Ebola is being treated with Favipiravir, an anti-viral drug. This medicine is a part of the three experimental drugs that the French government had authorized for import and use.

26 September
Sierra Leone:
Additional quarantine measures have been instigated; Port Loko, Bombali and Moyamba districts and other ‘hot spot’ areas are under isolation. The lastest situation update from the Ministry of Health reports at least 75 new lab-confirmed Ebola cases. Read more…

Spain:
The Spanish missionary who was evactuated from Sierra Leone has passed away on 25 September in Madrid. He contracted Ebola while working as the Medical Director of San Juan de Dios Hospital in Lunsar and was evactuated on 22 September after he became symptomatic. He is the second Spaniard to be infected and pass away during this Ebola outbreak.

United States: Dr Sacra, the third Ebola patient to be evacuated and treated in the US, has made a full recovery and was discharged from Nebraska Medical Centre on 25 September. While Dr Sacra was treated with the experimental drug TKM-Ebola and received plasma transfusions from survivor Dr Brantly, his doctors state there is too little data to know whether the treatments aided his recovery.

Cuba: Media sources have reported that Cuban health officials plan to send over 150 healthcare workers to West Africa to help in the Ebola outbreak. The healthcare workers are currently being trained on Ebola.

Germany: German officials plan to deploy about 2,000 army personnel in West Africa. A 300-bed mobile hospital will also be set up in Liberia.

25 September
Guinea: 
According to news sources, a Red Cross team was attacked in Forecariah, Guinea while handling dead bodies suspected to be infected with Ebola. It is reported that the Red Cross volunteers were injured and the team’s vehicles were vandalised.

DRC: The latest report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has revised the total number of cases downwards following a number of negative laboratory tests. Read more…

Sierra Leone: In a press release, health officials have expressed satisfaction at the end of the three-day stay at home “ose-to-ose ebola tok” campaign. Also, a new Ebola Treatment Unit will be established in Lunsar, Northern Province. Read more…

United States: 
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that “There are currently no FDA-approved vaccines or prescription or over-the-counter drugs to prevent or treat Ebola.” Three companies violating the FDA regulations have been issued warning notices. The firms were associated with promoting products which claim to cure or prevent Ebola infection.

US: The United States (US) Embassy at Ivory Coast conducted a two-day workshop in Abidjan as part of Ebola preparedness and response planning. Officials from ten African countries attended the workshop. In a separate event at the United Nations General Assembly, the US President Barack Obama has urged more countries to join in the fight against the Ebola outbreak.

WHO: In their latest Roadmap Situation Report #5, the World Health Organization includes more than 6,200 cases with 2,700 or more deaths. Guinea is comparably stable with around 3-15 new cases per week, in stark contrast to Liberia and Sierra Leone which have seen staggering numbers of cases in the last three weeks. Liberia’s 1,700 cases recorded in the past 21 days represent more than half of the nation’s total since the beginning of the outbreak. Further investigation into the number of infected healthcare workers (HCWs) in the three most severely affected countries reveals that, of over 370 HCWs, more than 200 have died.

Across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, around 730 new beds are due to be set up by international partners to add to the existing 820 or so beds in treatment centres. Although commendable, this effort will still leave more than 2,100 additional beds without any formal commitment to build additional capacity. Laboratory capabilities are also being strengthened to meet the diagnostic demand in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

24 September
WHO: The World Health Organization (WHO) has welcomed United Kingdom’s (UK) support towards the Ebola affected countries. Officials from the UK announced a donation of 700 hospital beds to Sierra Leone on 19 September. Two hundred beds are to be delivered very soon. British military engineers will continue to work with the Sierra Leone government to establish the new treatment centres.

Liberia: Clinical trials of Ebola treatments for the first time in West Africa will be commenced soon as per media sources. These will be funded by Wellcome Trust.

Sierra Leone: Media sources have quoted health officials planning an extension of lock-down so that cities such as Freetown and Kenema can be covered.

Spain: A missionary confirmed with Ebola has been taken back to Spain and currently admitted in Carlos III Hospital in Madrid. He is second Spanish patient flown to the country and his condition was described as serious.

A study published in the Lancet estimates the overall case fatality rate of the present Ebola outbreak is around 70%. The experts used 1976 distribution of Ebola outbreak and WHO reports on overall cases and deaths from all affected countries. They state that the current approach “…does not account for the delay between onset of Ebola symptoms and disease outcome (ie, recovery or death). ” The researchers warn that, “If the delay is longer than in 1976, this CFR could be even higher.”

23 September
CDC states “the number of cases in West Africa will rapidly reach extraordinary levels” without increased interventions – possibly over a million:
Using their modelling tool (callled EbolaResponse), the CDC predicts that case numbers could reach between 8,000 to 21,000 by the end of this month in Sierra Leone and Liberia unless effective interventions are scaled up. Right now, case numbers in the two countries combined doubling approximately every 20 days. Without additional interventions and a change in community behavior, CDC says there could be 550,000 – 1.2 million cases by early 2015. To even begin being effective, preventative efforts would need to place at least 70% of all people who have Ebola in a medical facility or other environment where they are unlikely to spread the disease to others. This includes implementing safe burial methods.

Each month that we fail to achieve that goal, daily cases would likely triple. Officials are thus working to increase facilities and other settings in which Ebola patients can minimize their contact with uninfected people, which also requires stocks of supplies and staff to run them. If such facilities can be implemented quickly, and sustained, then the CDC states “the higher projections presented in this report become very unlikely.”

Switzerland:  A nurse working for an international organization in Sierra Leone has been flown to Switzerland and admitted at the University Hospital of Geneva (HUG). He was bitten by a child infected with Ebola. The risk of infection is assumed to be low because the nurse was wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE) at the time of the injury and the bite did not result in a visible wound. Initial tests for Ebola on the healthcare worker were negative, however, he will be observed for three weeks.

Nigeria: According to news sources, some states in Nigeria re-opened schools on 22 September. Authorities have taken steps to train teachers, screen young children and educate parents in an attempt to prevent any further Ebola cases. Lagos and a number of other states have postponed the start of the school year until October.

Sierra Leone: A three-day nationwide lockdown has ended, and media reports say there are more than 200 dead bodies and 150 new cases uncovered. The World Health Organization reports there are 105 new confirmed cases. A recent house-to-house sensitisation campaign is reported to have reached 80% of households nationwide.  Read more…

WHO outbreak summaries: 6 months in: The World Health Organization has released country-specific overviews of the Ebola outbreak, six months after it began in Guinea. The outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone began approximately half a year ago and has progressed differently in all three nations. Each country page has more specific details posted.

In Liberia, the country WHO calls “by far the most worrisome”, case counts are climbing “exponentially”. Health services are far beyond overwhelmed; even basic services are largely unavailable and the country’s already-limited medical staff is being infected with Ebola at alarming rates. Large numbers of Ebola patients are turned away from overcrowded treatment facilities, which means not only that they are left ill and suffering but that they can spread the disease further in the community.

In Guinea, WHO highlights terror-induced violence as a major barrier to disease control efforts and states the prospects that the outbreak will come under control are “not good at all”.

In Sierra Leone, as in Guinea, the outbreak spread rapidly once it began and reached major and capital cities. The nation needs more facilities for Ebola patients and staff to care for them. As elsewhere, the outbreak has taken a heavy toll on the nation’s healthcare workers.

Nigeria and Senegal have been called “stable – for the moment.” Both handled their imported cases as quickly as they could and appear to have limited the outbreak within their borders.

Aid and support: Several organisations have extended donations to control Ebola outbreak. These include the African Development Bank (ADB), EuropeAid, Clinton Global Initiative and Irish Aid.

UNMEER: The first UN Mission for the fight against Ebola (UNMEER) teams have reached Accra, Ghana and a location in Liberia to set up operations. The mission was established by the UN Secretary General and will have its headquarters in Accra. It aims to contain the Ebola outbreak by treating people, helping with basic services and preventing spread to unaffected areas.

Outlook: A newly-published article in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) reviews the previous nine months of the West Africa Ebola outbreak and issues stark warnings about the future of the disease. The researchers found that the virus’s current ability to spread is largely similar to that of previous epidemics. However, the scale of the West Africa outbreak is much larger than any other Ebola epidemic in history. The authors say the size of this outbreak is related to the attributes of the populations affected (both urban and highly interconnected) and the inability of the healthcare systems to control the spread in the under-resourced nations. They project that, without a significant change in control efforts, more than 20,000 people will have been infected by 2 November.

The authors conclude: “Notwithstanding the geographic variation in case incidence within and among Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the current epidemiologic outlook is bleak. Forward projections suggest that unless control measures — including improvements in contact tracing, adequate case isolation, increased capacity for clinical management, safe burials, greater community engagement, and support from international partners — improve quickly, these three countries will soon be reporting thousands of cases and deaths each week, projections that are similar to those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

The WHO follow-up to the NEJM study highlights the need for access to supportive care quickly after developing symptoms. They acknowledge that the current systems are overwhelmed and in dire need of international support.

22 September
Sierra Leone
: The latest WHO report states there are 22 new confirmed cases. There are road closures and houses under quarantine in Moyamba district after an increased risk of Ebola spread following a local burial. Media sources are reporting more than 70 newly-identified dead and over 130 new Ebola cases following the recent shut down. Read more… 

Nigeria: Authorities have confirmed that schools in Lagos state will re-open on 8 October. All schools in the country were closed after a state of emergency to contain Ebola was declared in August. Read more

WHO: The World Health Organization has issued a statement following a second meeting of the International Health Regulations Committee regarding the Ebola outbreak. Flight restrictions has led to economic difficulties and slowed humanitarian response. WHO reiterated that there should be no generalised bans on travel, save for earlier recommendations about restricting the travel of Ebola cases and their contacts.

ECDC: The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has issued renewed guidelines (PDF) for the assessment and planning of medical evacuation for Ebola cases.

21 September
UN:
The United Nations has issued a fact sheet (pdf), ‘Global Response to Ebola Crisis’. It states that the Ebola outbreak is “no longer a public health crisis; it is a complex emergency, with significant, social, economic, humanitarian, political and security dimensions”. It outlines a strategy to allow the “UN and the international community . . .to implement a robust and effective response to help the Governments and the people of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone”. The strategy is built on five pillars:

  • Stop the outbreak
  • Treat the infected
  • Ensure essential services 
  • Preserve stability
  • Prevent further outbreaks

Spain: The religious order San Juan de Dios has announced that one their Brothers, the Medical Director of the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Lunsar, Sierra Leone has Ebola. He has been receiving treatment at an Ebola treatment centre in Freetown but asked to be repatriated to Spain.

Sierra Leone: News sources report that a team burying Ebola victims was attacked in Freetown during the 3-day lockdown.

20 September
WHO:
The World Health Organization has welcomed the decision to establish United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response. The mission will bring together the vast resources of the UN agencies, funds and programmes to reinforce WHO’s technical and expertise and experience in disease outbreaks. 

UN: The UN is sending a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team comprised of experts from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), European Union (EU) and the Liberian Government to Liberia to assess the response to the Ebola outbreak.

The Security Council yesterday concluded that the outbreak posed a threat to peace and security. The UN Secretary General announced the establishment of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). The mission is the first in UN history to address a public health threat. The Mission will be coordinated in Accra, Ghana and will bring together the collective assets of the UN and work closely with the Governments in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Dr David Nabarro, the UN Secretary General’s Senior Coordinator for the Ebola Response said “The number of cases have doubled in these countries in the last three weeks. To get in front off this, the response must be increased 20-fold from where it is today.”

Sierra Leone: In the latest situation update from the World Health Organization, 33 new cases were confirmed. Read more… 

Nigeria: News sources are reporting that the last suspected patient in Lagos has completed surveillance and tested negative for Ebola.

France: The French MSF staff member who caught Ebola while working in Liberia has arrived in Paris and is receiving treatment in a military hospital. It is not clear what treatment she is receiving. France’s Ministry of Health has authorized the import and use of 3 experimental drugs.

19 September
Guinea:
Media sources are reporting that eight bodies have been found following the attack on a health team near Nzerekore on 16 September.

Sierra Leone: The three-day nationwide stay-at-home campaign has begun, following an address by the President on 18 September. The campaign will finish on Sunday 21 September. Read more…

Nigeria: Media sources report that school teachers are being trained on early detection and management of Ebola cases before school resumes in September.

France: Officials have announced that the country will assist in setting up a military hospital in Guinea to treat Ebola patients.

WHO: Dr Margaret Chan addressed the UN Security Council in New York on 18 September, highlighting that the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa “is a social crisis, a humanitarian crisis, an economic crisis, and a threat to national security” in need of urgent international support.

UN: Following an exceptional meeting of the Security Council, the United Nations has renewed calls to lift regional flight bans and end travel restrictions imposed in the light of the West African Ebola outbreak.

UK: Public Health England has updated its risk assessment (PDF) for the West Africa Ebola outbreak, including current advice for health professionals. The overall risk assessment for England is unchanged and remains “very low”.

18 September
WHO:
 In its Ebola Response Roadmap Situation Report #4, WHO reports the total number of cases (confirmed, probable and suspected) is up to 5335 cases, with 2622 deaths. WHO states: “the upward trend continues in the three countries with widespread and intense transmission (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone). The number of new cases reported from Guinea was stable and Dalaba prefecture is newly affected. Liberia remains the worst affected country, the surge in cases is primarily due to increased cases reported in its capital Monrovia. Maryland county is newly affected. In Sierra Leone the number of new cases is still rising, with high transmission in and around the capital, Freetown, and several districts reporting increased new cases.”

The World Bank Group has approved a grant of US$105 million to Ebola-affected Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The grant is part of Ebola emergency mobilisation, a joint response led by the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

Guinea: A group of health workers were attacked while they were visiting a remote area in Nzerekore. The group was conducting an information campaign on Ebola. According to media, some of the staff are missing.

Nigeria: Social mobilization efforts, such as education campaigns, are being conducted door-to-door and in public places.

France: Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) have announced that a French staff member working in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola. The nurse has been in isolation since she developed a fever on 16 September and she will be evacuated for treatment in France. This is the first time one of MSF’s international staff members have caught the disease. Investigations into how she became infected are underway. Seven national MSF staff members have contracted the virus. Three of them died.

MSF: During the United Nations Member States Briefing on the Ebola outbreak and response, the International President of MSF reiterated that the window of opportunity to contain the Ebola outbreak is closing. She said that MSF was being forced to deny admission to many Ebola-infected people as treatment centres are full. “With every passing week, the epidemic grows exponentially. With every passing week, the response becomes all the more complicated.”

Liberia: The ELWA3 Ebola treatment centre in Monrovia will not be accepting any new patients until investigations are complete into how a French nurse volunteering with Medecins Sans Frontieres became infected.

Sierra Leone: The 59 person Chinese laboratory and medical team have arrived in country. Media sources have also reported that the burial teams are unable to keep up with the number of deaths. 

In the latest update from the Ministry of Health, 29 new confirmed cases were reported. Read more…

 

 

Related:

WHO | Ebola virus disease – World Health Organization

background document potential ebola therapies and vaccines

Anecdotal evidence about experimental Ebola therapies

WHO | Situation reports: Ebola response roadmap

Resources:

Ebola in Africa
Map of affected areas
Latest News
–Imported cases
Actualités en français
Outbreak overview
Affected countries
–Congo, Democratic Republic
–Guinea
–Liberia
–Nigeria
–Senegal
–Sierra Leone
–Ebola Charts
Ebola Facts
–Transmission
–Symptoms
–Prevention
–Vaccines
–Treatment
–Case definitions
FAQ
Travel Advice
Travel security advisories – Flight bans and closures
Medical evacuation statement
Education Materials
Webinar recordings
Useful Links
Ebola Risk Management for Organisations
Members’ Services

 

Ebola Epidemic: Sierra Leone Quarantines A Million People

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Restrictions affect more than a third of the country’s population, as world leaders meet at UN to discuss the Ebola outbreak.

Sierra Leone Ebola Estimates

A health worker is disinfected after assisting with a suspected case of Ebola in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone’s government has quarantined more than a million people in an attempt to bring an end to the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

Areas in the east of the country on the border of Guinea have been under quarantine for months but travel is now restricted in three more areas where an estimated 1.5 million people live. Nearly a third of the country’s population across 14 districts is now under curfew.

The move comes as world leaders meet to discuss the crisis at the United Nations, and days after a three-day nationwide lockdown ended.

In an address to the nation, Sierra Leone’s president, Ernest Bai Koroma, said the weekend’s lockdown had “met its objectives” but had also exposed the challenges posed by the Ebola crisis.

In addition to announcing the new isolation districts, the government is establishing corridors for travel between non-quarantined districts, with a curfew on all travel outside the hours of 9am and 5pm. Koroma said the isolation would “definitely pose great difficulties for our people in these districts”.

The British charity Street Child said there had been no warning given of the latest lockdown and said it was concerned that this would lead to mass starvation. “We were not prepare for the quarantine overnight. The areas being quarantined are really poor communities, most people live on 50p a day,” its country director, Kelfa Kargbo, told the Guardian.

“We need more help from the World Food Programme, but more than that we need a distribution network to be built to make sure the food gets in and gets in regularly to the starving people. I am expecting starvation to show in three or four weeks unless this is addressed.”

The northern districts of Port Loko and Bombali have been closed off “indefinitely” along with the southern district of Moyamba, effectively sealing in around 1.2 million people.

Ebola epidemicThe deadliest Ebola epidemic on record has infected more than 6,200 people in west Africa and killed nearly half of them, according to the World Health Organizations latest figures.

The virus is spread through bodily fluids and once symptomatic can kill within four or five days. Symptoms include rampant fever, severe muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea and, in some cases, internal and external bleeding through the eyes and mouth.

World leaders are due to attend a meeting on Ebola convened by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, in New York later on Thursday, with Koroma and Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf connected by video link.

The meeting, part of the UN general assembly, will hear from Barack Obama, and world leaders are expected to pledge help for attempts to contain the spread of the virus.

Obama, who is sending 3,000 Troops to west Africa to “help health workers,” urged other countries to get behind a broader international effort.

In a speech to the general assembly, Obama grouped Ebola with the crisis in Ukraine and the threat posed by the so-called ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria as new dangers to global security.

“As we speak, America is deploying our doctors and scientists – supported by our military – to help contain the outbreak of Ebola and pursue new treatments,” Obama told the assembly. “But we need a broader effort to stop a disease that could kill hundreds of thousands, inflict horrific suffering, destabilize economies and move rapidly across borders.”

Liberia West Africa EbolaDoor-to-door searches during the three-day curfew in Sierra Leone identified more than 350 suspected new cases of Ebola, according by the top US diplomat in the country. Charge d’affairs Kathleen Fitzgibbon said teams of volunteers had also discovered 265 corpses, of which 216 had since been buried.

In an email to emergency workers, she said one of the priorities was to ensure all bodies were buried correctly, as funerals have been identified as one of the ways the disease has spread, with relatives touching the bodies of the deceased.

The US Centers for Disease Control estimated that the number of cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could rise to 1.4 million by January, in a worst-case scenario based on data obtained before the world ramped up its response.

 

 

 Imported cases:

Many locations are testing people who have traveled to Ebola-affected countries and returned with a fever and other symptoms. So far, only Senegal has confirmed a proven case of Ebola. International SOS is monitoring these closely. Click here for more details.

 

Related:

Ebola epidemic

Ebola – International SOS

Can the U.S. Army degrade and destroy Ebola?

Ebola-infected patient in Liberia escapes quarantine, enters

American Ebola Quarantine Zones

Sierra Leone is forcing its citizens into isolation to fight Ebola

 

The Pentagon Will Allow Undocumented Immigrants to Join the US Military

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Pledge of Allegiance

U.S. service members recite the Pledge of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony at Department of Interior on Sept. 23, 2011, in Washington, D.C.

The Pentagon made a surprise announcement on Thursday to let undocumented immigrants serve in the United States military.

The new rules will expand an existing program allowing recruiters to target foreign nationals with high-demand skills. Known as Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest, or MAVNI — will be open to immigrants without a proper visa if they came to the U.S. with their parents before age 16. More specifically, they must be approved under a 2012 Obama administration policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

After entering military service, foreigners are eligible for expedited U.S. citizenship. Since 2001, more than 92,000 foreign-born service members have become citizens while serving in uniform.

The MAVNI program began in 2008 and remains a pilot program. DoD notified Congress on Thursday that the program, which was due to expire at the end of this fiscal year, will be extended for another two years and will for the first time include DACA-status immigrants.

The immigrants will only make the cut, however, if they successfully fill out a 127-page form that asks whether they have been terrorists, hold advanced degrees, and can speak Cebuano, Igbo, Yoruba, and a host of other rare languages. What’s more, they’ll be competing for only 1,500 open slots against thousands of legal immigrants with non-permanent visas who have already applied under the same criteria.

“This is honestly throwing crumbs at us,” Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, deputy manager director of the Dreamers advocacy group United We Dream.

He believes the Pentagon’s announcement was perhaps intended as a symbol, a gesture indicating that President Barack Obama is trying to help illegal immigrants whose plight elicits the sympathy of valuable Latino voters.

If that’s the case, the gesture backfired.

Republicans who lean towards giving DACA Dreamers a pathway to US citizenship in exchange for putting their lives at risk for Uncle Sam were also dismissive. According to Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican who chairs the Judiciary Committee in the House of Representatives, President Barack Obama has twisted MAVNI.

“It’s shameful that the Obama administration is using a law meant to protect the national security interests of the United States as a means to accomplish its political agenda,” Goodlatte said.

The Petagon Officials say it’s unclear how many of those might be unlawful DACA status immigrants as opposed to others who are also eligible for military service under MAVNI, including those with legal, nonpermanent visas such as students or tourists.

Estimates suggest between 1.2 million and 2.1 million children, teenagers and young adults in the U.S. have no legal immigration status but meet the criteria for the DACA program. Those targeted by recruiters under the MAVNI program likely will be immigrants with language skills critical to national security, such as Arabic, Chinese, Pashto or Persian.

“We’re just not sure how many within that existing population of DACA would have the linguistic skills to qualify,” said one defense official familiar with the policy change. “These are kids who entered the country at a fairly young age and have basically grown up in the United States, so the limit of their language talents would probably be the language that they received at home.”

The military services are not required to accept recruits under MAVNI. In recent years, the Army has been the only service to accept a significant number of recruits under the program. The Air Force has accepted only a few and the Navy and Marine Corps have not sought MAVNI recruits in recent years.

Marc Rosenblum of the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute was a little more generous. The Pentagon program has such narrow criteria because it needs specialists, he said. Maybe the Marines might need an Uzbek thoracic surgeon who wants to be a jarhead.

“It’s not a significant number from an immigration perspective, but it might be a significant number from the perspective of military intelligence.”

The move might also set the stage for an eventual path toward citizenship for some illegal immigrants.

 

Related:

MILITARY ACCESSIONS VITAL TO NATIONAL INTEREST

DoD policy will allow some immigrants in US illegally to serve

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Sleep Paralysis

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Sleep paralysisI was afflicted from sleep paralysis as young child and into early adulthood. Without a doubt, these were the most terrifying moments of my life.

Despite being raised Roman Catholic, I never believed in the “devil” or demons. However, I can attest to the fact that there was unequivocally a “presence” during these episodes. The “visitations” occurred 9 times over the course of 13 years.  It may have been startled from sleep, but I was in a fully awake state during each incident.

Sleep paralysisAlthough the entity was present every time the sleep paralysis befell me, I only saw this creature once. The most significant occurrence happened when I was 9 years old. Robed in darkness, the faceless hooded being was lurking beside my bed. There was a sound emitting from him, not like breathing, it’s not a sound I can describe, it was more like a frequency, nor can I explain how I knew “it” was a he/alpha.

Unable to move or speak, I dared not fall into sleep, eyes wide open until dawn.  As the sun rose he melted into the ground, or under my bed I thought, but when his image dissolved, I was released from the grip of paralysis. Exhausted, as if I had a stroke, I thought this “fearsome entity” was out to possess my soul or was trying to crush or smother my life force.

This strange experience in the middle of the night, as you just come out of sleep, can be downright terrifying.

I know now there is NO sinister menacing intruder watching me, but as a child, it felt very real.

Classification

Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which a person, either when falling asleep or awakening, temporarily experiences an inability to move. It is a transitional state between wakefulness and sleep characterized by complete muscle atonia (muscle weakness). It is often associated with terrifying visions, such as an intruder in the room, to which one is unable to react due to paralysis, from which the term “nightmare” is derived. One theory is that it results from disrupted REM sleep, which is normally characterized by complete muscle atonia to prevent the sleeper from acting out his or her dreams. Sleep paralysis has been linked to disorders such as narcolepsy, migraines, anxiety disorders, and obstructive sleep apnea; however, it can also occur in isolation. When linked to another disorder, sleep paralysis commonly occurs in association with the neurological sleep disorder narcolepsy.

sleep-paralysis

The two major classifications of sleep paralysis are Isolated sleep paralysis (ISP) and the significantly rarer Recurrent Isolated Sleep Paralysis (RISP). ISP episodes are infrequent, and may occur only once in an individual’s lifetime, while recurrent isolated sleep paralysis is a chronic condition, and can recur throughout a person’s lifetime. RISP episodes can last for up to an hour or longer, and have a much higher occurrence of perceived out of body experiences, while ISP episodes are generally short (usually no longer than one minute) and are typically associated with the intruder and incubus visitations. With RISP the individual can also suffer back-to-back episodes of sleep paralysis in the same night, which is unlikely in individuals who suffer from ISP.

Signs and symptoms

Physiologically, sleep paralysis is closely related to REM atonia, the paralysis that occurs as a natural part of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Sleep paralysis occurs either when falling asleep, or when awakening. When it occurs upon falling asleep, the person remains aware while the body shuts down for REM sleep, a condition called hypnagogic or predormital sleep paralysis. When it occurs upon awakening, the person becomes aware before the REM cycle is complete, and it is called hypnopompic or postdormital. The paralysis can last from several seconds to several minutes, with some rare cases being hours, “by which the individual may experience panic symptoms” (described below). As the correlation with REM sleep suggests, the paralysis is not complete: use of EOG traces shows that eye movement is still possible during such episodes; however, the individual experiencing sleep paralysis is unable to speak.

Sleep paralysis alien abduction experienceHypnagogia and Hypnopompic visions are symptoms commonly experienced during episodes of sleep paralysis. Some scientists have proposed this condition as an explanation for reports of alien abductions and ghostly encounters. Some suggest that reports of alien abductions are related to sleep paralysis rather than to temporal lobe lability. There are three main types of these visions that can be linked to pathologic Neurophysiology. These include the belief that there is an intruder in the room, the incubus, and vestibular motor sensations.

Many people who experience sleep paralysis are struck with a deep sense of terror when they sense a menacing presence in the room while paralyzed—hereafter referred to as the intruder. A neurological interpretation of this phenomenon is that it results from a hyper-vigilant state created in the midbrain. More specifically, the emergency response is activated in the brain when individuals wake up paralyzed and feel vulnerable to attack.     This helplessness can intensify the effects of the threat response well above the level typical of normal dreams, which could explain why such visions during sleep paralysis are so vivid. Normally the threat-activated vigilance system is a protective mechanism to differentiate between dangerous situations and to determine whether the fear response is appropriate. Some hypothesize that the threat vigilance system is evolutionarily biased to interpret ambiguous stimuli as dangerous, because “erring on the side of caution” increases survival chances. This hypothesis could account for why the threatening presence is perceived as being evil.The Amygdala is heavily involved in the threat activation response mechanism, which is implicated in both intruder and incubus SP visions. The specific pathway through which the threat-activated vigilance system acts is not well understood. One possibility is that the thalamus receives sensory information and sends it on the amygdala, which regulates emotional experience. Another is that the amygdaloid complex, anterior cingulate, and the structures in the pontine tegmentum interact to create the vision. It is also highly possible that SP hallucinations could result from a combination of these. The anterior cingulate has an extensive array of cortical connections to other cortical areas, which enables it to integrate the various sensations and emotions into the unified sensorium we experience. The amygdaloid complex helps us interpret emotional experience and act appropriately. This is conducive to directing the individual’s attention to the most pertinent stimuli in a potentially dangerous situation so that the individual can take self-protective measures. Proper amygdaloid complex function requires input from the thalamus, which creates a thalamoamygdala pathway capable of bypassing the intense scrutiny of incoming stimuli to enable quick responses in a potentially life-threatening situation. Typically, situations assessed as non-threatening are disregarded. In sleep paralysis, however, those pathways can become over-excited and move into a state of hyper-vigilance in which the mind perceives every external stimulus as a threat. The hyper-vigilance response can lead to the creation of endogenous stimuli that contribute to the perceived threat.

Sleep-paralysis-causesA similar process may explain the experience of the incubus presence, with slight variations, in which the evil presence is perceived by the subject to be attempting to suffocate them, either by pressing heavily on the chest or by strangulation. A neurological explanation hold that this results from a combination of the threat vigilance activation system and the muscle paralysis associated with sleep paralysis that removes voluntary control of breathing. Several features of REM breathing patterns exacerbate the feeling of suffocation. These include shallow rapid breathing, hypercapnia, and slight blockage of the airway, which is a symptom prevalent in sleep apnea patients. According to this account, the subject attempts to breath deeply and finds herself unable to do so, creating a sensation of resistance, which the threat-activated vigilance system interprets as an unearthly being sitting on her chest, threatening suffocation. The sensation of entrapment causes a feedback loop when the fear of suffocation increases as a result of continued helplessness, causing the subject to struggle to end the SP episode.

The intruder and incubus experiences highly correlate with one another, and moderately correlate with the third characteristic experience, vestibular-motor disorientation, also known as out-of-body experiences, which differ from the other two in not involving the threat activation vigilance system. Under normal conditions, medial and vestibular nuclei, cortical, thalamic, and cerebellar centers coordinate things such as head and eye movement, and orientation in space.[9] A neurological hypothesis is that in sleep paralysis, these mechanisms—which usually coordinate body movement and provide information on body position—become activated and, because there is no actual movement, induce a floating sensation. The vestibular nuclei in particular has been identified as being closely related to dreaming during the REM stage of sleep. According to this hypothesis, vestibular-motor disorientation, unlike the intruder and incubus experiences, arise from completely endogenous sources of stimuli.

Pathophysiology

The Pathophysiology of sleep paralysis has not been concretely identified, although there are several theories about its etiology. The first of these stems from the understanding that sleep paralysis is a parasomnia resulting from dysfunctional overlap of the REM and waking stages of sleep. Polysomnographic studies found that individuals who experience sleep paralysis have shorter REM sleep latencies than normal along with shortened NREM and REM sleep cycles, and fragmentation of REM sleep. This study supports the observation that disturbance of regular sleeping patterns can instigate an episode of sleep paralysis, because fragmentation of REM sleep commonly occurs when sleep patterns are disrupted and has now been seen in combination with sleep paralysis.

Neurotransmitter systemAnother major theory is that the neural functions that regulate sleep are out of balance in such a way that causes different sleep states to overlap.  In this case, Cholinergic sleep on neural populations are hyper activated and the serotonergic sleep off neural populations are under-activated. As a result the cells capable of sending the signals that would allow for complete arousal from the sleep state, the serotonergic neural populations, have difficulty in overcoming the signals sent by the cells that keep the brain in the sleep state.  During normal REM sleep, the threshold for a stimulus to cause arousal is greatly elevated. However, in individuals with SP, there is almost no blocking of exogenous stimuli, which means it is much easier for a stimulus to arouse the individual. There may also be a problem with the regulation of melatonin, which under normal circumstances regulates the serotonergic neural populations. Melatonin is typically at its lowest point during REM sleep.[Inhibition of melatonin at an inappropriate time would make it impossible for the sleep off neural populations to depolarize when presented with a stimulus that would normally lead to complete arousal. This could explain why the REM and waking stages of sleep overlap during sleep paralysis, and definitely explains the muscle paralysis experienced on awakening.  If the effects of sleep on neural populations cannot be counteracted, characteristics of REM sleep are retained upon awakening. Common consequences of sleep paralysis includes headaches, muscle pains or weakness and/or paranoia.

Research has found a genetic component in sleep paralysis.  The characteristic fragmentation of REM sleep, hypnopompic, and hypnagogic hallucinations have a heritable component in other parasomnias, which lends credence to the idea that sleep paralysis is also genetic. Twin studies have shown that if one twin of a monozygotic pair experiences sleep paralysis that other twin is very likely to experience it as well.  The identification of a genetic component means that there is some sort of disruption of function at the physiological level. Further studies must be conducted to determine whether there is a mistake in the signaling pathway for arousal as suggested by the first theory presented, or whether the regulation of melatonin or the neural populations themselves have been disrupted.

Sleep paralysis could also be a part of a larger diagnosis because of the dissociative state seen during sleep paralysis. Like mentioned earlier patients, especially with narcolepsy, seem to have trouble distinguishing between states of wakefulness and sleep. They are unable to tell if what they are experiencing is a dream or if it is reality. Many patients can recall talking to a doctor if they are in the hospital or family and friends but they are uncertain if this memory was from a state of wakefulness or was experienced in REM sleep. Their recall is very similar to patients who suffer from delirium, which is why some experts conclude there is a dissociative state in sleep paralysis.

Another possible cause of sleep paralysis is depression. There is a correlation between depression and sleep disturbances, sleep paralysis being one of them. In people that are depressed there is about an 11% frequency of people that have sleep paralysis. The reasoning behind this is the depression causes disturbances in the REM sleep cycle.

 

 

Resources:

Sleep paralysis

What Causes Muscle Atonia in REM?

Sleep Paralysis Symptoms, Treatment, and Causes

Ever had sleep paralysis? That’s some scary shit!

A victim of sleep-paralysis recreates his visions

Sleep Physiology – Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation .

Sleep paralysis – Spiritual Science Research Foundation

How to Stop Sleep Paralysis and Turn It Into Lucid Dreams

Non-Violent Activists Can Land on the Drone King’s Kill List

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Extrajudicial KillingSince 2008, the year of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the U.S. Department of Defense has funded a multimillion dollar university research program to probe the complex dynamics of mass social and political movements, anticipate global trends, and ultimately augment the intelligence community’s preparations for civil unrest and insurgencies both abroad and at home.

Part of that has involved developing advanced new data mining and analysis tools for the U.S. military intelligence community to pinpoint imminent and potential threats from individuals and groups.

Among its many areas of focus are ongoing projects at Arizona State University (ASU) designed to enhance and automate the algorithms used by intelligence agencies like the NSA to analyze “open source” information from social media in order to track the potential threat-level to U.S. interests. Formal organizations and broad social networks as well as individuals could be identified and closely monitored with such tools to an unprecedented degree of precision.

Loosely defined concepts of political “radicalism,” violence and nonviolence, as well as questionable research methodologies, open the way for widespread suspicion of even peaceful activist groups and their members, and the equation of them with potential terrorists. Civil society organizations in the U.K., including both Muslim religious groups and non-religious anti-war networks, have been prioritized for study to test and improve the effectiveness of these data-mining tools.

Tracking and Killing SurveillanceIncreasingly, though, the automation of threat-detection and terrorism-classification has been accompanied by the automation of killing, in the form of the generation of “kill lists” of terrorism suspects to be targeted via extrajudicial assassination by drone strikes. As President Obama, encouraged by powerful lobbies in the defense industries, has paved the way for the systematic integration of drones into domestic law-enforcement and homeland security operations, the prospect of extrajudicial assassinations occurring on U.S. soil are no longer merely hypothetical.

Now, new but little-known Pentagon directives authorize the use of armed drones against American citizens in the homeland in the context of domestic emergencies.

Flawed DoD Algorithms Determine Extrajudicial Assassinations

Algorithms of Death

“The algorithms being developed at ASU remind me of the algorithms used as the basis for signature strikes with drones,” said Thomas Drake, a former senior National Security Agency executive who leaked information about the NSA’s data-mining project Trailblazer to the press in 2006.

Drake agreed that the algorithms linked toLookingGlass,” a new Pentagon-sponsored Visual Intelligence Platform, could in fact be applied to fine-tuning the generation of the CIA’s notorious “kill lists.”

“Having the U.S. government and Department of Defense fund this kind of research at the university level will bias the results by default. This is a fall-out of big data research of this type, using algorithms to detect patterns when the patterns themselves are an effect – and mixing up correlation with causality. Under this flawed approach, many false positives are possible and these results can create an ends of profiling justifying the means of data-mining.”

It is now increasingly recognized that U.S. drone strikes against foreign terrorism targets have systematically killed large numbers of civilians, with a 2012 joint Stanford and New York University report suggesting that as few as 2% of casualties are “high-level” targets – an analysis cohering with counterinsurgency expert David Kilcullen’s 2009 estimate showing a “kill ratio” of 50 civilians to one militant, or, in other words, 98% civilian casualties.

Critical Targeting Challenge“My colleagues in Special Forces tell me that the men on the front line are furious with the lack of accuracy and integrity at the national level, and no longer trust the targeting data,” said former veteran CIA case officer Robert Steele, who previously served as a Marine Corps infantry officer.

“They have seen for themselves how wrong the system is when they look their man in the eyes. Technical surveillance is the most expensive, least useful, and least accurate form of surveillance. Technology is not a substitute for thinking. We must become deeply and broadly expert at the human factor.”

Drones Come Home

U.S. administration officials including Obama himself have repeatedly refused to confirm whether the alleged legal power to conduct extrajudicial assassinations via drone strikes extends to the U.S. homeland. Last year, prior to becoming CIA director, John Brennan told the Senate Intelligence Committee:…we do not view our authority to use military force against al-Qaeda and associated forces as being limited to ‘hot’ battlefields like Afghanistan.” He referred to Attorney General Eric Holder’s statement that “neither Congress nor our federal courts has limited the geographic scope of our ability to use force to the current conflict in Afghanistan.”

In February 2012, Obama signed in a law directing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to throw American airspace wide open to drones by as early as September 2015. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) already deploys Predator drones to spot smugglers and illegal immigrants crossing into U.S. territory, and two dozen U.S. police departments have successfully applied for FAA permits for drones. As National Geographic observes, “all 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the U.S. are potential customers.” By 2020, it is estimated that some 30,000 drones would be active across the U.S. homeland.

Obama Using DirectiveDocuments obtained under Freedom of Information by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) show that police plan to use drones essentially for surveillance. In Seattle and Miami, drones are already being used during criminal investigations and in “hot pursuit” of suspects, and could be used during natural disasters along with “specific situations with the direct authorization of the Assistant Chief of the Homeland Security Bureau.” Hundreds of “domestic drone missions” have been flown by CBP on behalf of other state and local agencies.

Last year, government documents revealed that Department of Homeland Security had customized its Predator B drones, built originally for foreign military operations, for domestic surveillance tasks and to “respond to emergency missions across the country,” including “identifying civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones.”

These drones are now being used on U.S. soil by the FBI, Secret Service, Texas Rangers and some local police forces. The DHS had also proposed to arm its domestic fleet of border patrol drones with “non-lethal weapons designed to immobilize TOIs [targets of interest]” – an option also being pursued by local police agencies that want to arm drones with rubber bullets, tear gas and other riot control weapons.

Nobel ObamaAccording to an unclassified U.S. Air Force document, the deployment of military drones in U.S. airspace will be controlled by the Pentagon and will be able to monitor unidentified groups, as well as “specifically identified” individuals with the Secretary of Defense’s approval. Military drones “are allowed to fly drones in public areas and record information on domestic situations,” noted Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Executive Decisions

In February 2013, an extraordinary Pentagon directive authorized the deployment of U.S. military resources and personnel to respond to domestic emergencies, quell civil unrest and support civilian law enforcement in a domestic terrorism incident. The new directive builds on an earlier 2010/2012 DoD directive specifically authorizing the use of military surveillance drones on U.S. soil under Pentagon authority.

Although that directive prohibited the use of “armed” drones for “DSCA [Defense Support of Civil authorities] operations,the new 2013 directive for Domestic Support to Civil Law-Enforcement Agencies goes further. It broadly asserts that “the Secretary of Defense may authorize the use of DoD personnel in support of civilian law enforcement officials during a domestic terrorism incident.”

Unlike the older directive, it stipulates that U.S. military commanders, including those at USNORTHCOM, USPACOM, and USSOCOM, would receive blanket authority over “operations, including the employment of armed Federal military forces at the scene of any domestic terrorist incident.” No limit is specified on what kind of “armed military forces” the Pentagon can conceivably deploy.

U.S. Customs and Border ProtectionThe “hypothetical” but nevertheless real extension of powers here was confirmed when Republican Senator Rand Paul asked Attorney General Holder to confirm the Obama administration’s position on conducting armed drone strikes on U.S. soil.

Holder wrote back that “the president could conceivably have no choice but to authorize the military to use such force if necessary to protect the homeland in the circumstances like a catastrophic attack.”

While denying any specific “intention” to do so, Holder conceded “it is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance, in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the president to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.”

Although Holder’s comments were widely publicized last year, their pseudo-legal parallel in the form of the Pentagon’s 2013 directive was not. The latter demonstrates that Holder’s consideration of the U.S. military’s legal authority to execute drone strikes on U.S. soil is far from “hypothetical.” On the contrary, the U.S. military was determined to ensure that this extraordinary authority was formally adopted.

I asked the U.S. Department of Defense whether it could confirm that the Minerva-funded data-mining research would not be used to support the U.S. intelligence community’s analytical tools to identify terrorism suspects, in particular to identify targets for Extrajudicial killing. I did not receive a direct answer to this question.

Extrajudicial killing1“Research in these areas will improve strategic and operational responses to insurgencies,” said Dr. Erin Fizgerald, chief of the Minerva program. “Perhaps more importantly, these efforts will help analysts faced with a particular political environment that seems ripe for mass mobilization – or a particular movement that appears to be turning violent or destabilizing a government – know where to look to understand a particular movement and its implications for society.”

terrorist-no-1

Global Instability

Prof. Mark Woodward, an anthropologist who leads the ASU projects funded by the DoD’s Minerva Research Initiative, is also affiliated to the CIA-funded Political Instability Task Force (PITF), originally formed in 1994 by appointment of the U.S. government. Although the PITF boasts of developing a predictive model with a “two-year lead time and over 80% accuracy” based purely on modelling “political institutions, and not economic conditions, demography, or geography,” in practice U.S. intelligence was unable to anticipate the unprecedented wave of instability that has swept across the Middle East and North Africa since 2011.

The Pentagon Minerva program addresses this gap in attempting to account for a complex range of interconnected factors beyond political institutions, including the impacts of environmental, energy and economic crises.

As I reported last year, the NSA’s surveillance programs are linked to extensive Pentagon planning for civil unrest in the context of escalating risks from climate, oil, food and economic shocks. Official documents over the last decade confirm that the intelligence community anticipates a heightened threat of instability, including “domestic insurgencies,” due to social and political collapse triggered by such shocks.

As episodes like the recent conflagration in Ferguson demonstrate, the Pentagon’s fears of a future of imminent domestic civil unrest are already being borne out.

 

 

Resources:

MEDIA ROOTS – Reporting From Outside Party Lines

Exposed: Pentagon Funds New Data-Mining Tools to Track

LookingGlass: A visual intelligence platform for tracking

US Customs grounds drone fleet after $12 million

‘Defense support of civil authorities‘ has been authorized

Drones in the Homeland: A Potential Privacy Obstruction

Seemorerocks: Tracking and killing activists

The mixed record of foreign fighters in domestic insurgencies

Tweaking the Constitution to Make Extrajudicial Killing Easier

Political Instability Task Force – Center for Global Policy

Meet The “Minerva Research Initiative” – The Pentagon’s

ISIS Revealed as ISRAELI SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE

Originally posted on Chemtrails: The Exotic Weapon:

zionist-plan-copy1

This 1990 publication is the first comprehensive and balanced account of the most controversial and well-known espionage organization in the world, taking readers through the complex web of politics and personal ambition that led to such disasters as the brutal violence on the West Bank. 8 pages of photographs.

Complete C-Span Interview

Book Every Spy a Prince Dan RavivThe amount of detail in this book certainly lends some credence to the book’s subtitle, and the journalist authors have also uncovered some fascinating new information: Israel has a number of top secret agencies, including one devoted to protecting their nuclear program and another for rescuing Jews from unfriendly countries; nuclear weapons using submarine-based launch platforms are nearly a reality; and Israel has been spying on the United States for years. The authors work diligently in this book to convince the world of the high morality of the Israeli cause. Israeli intelligence has been a popular subject for…

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America’s Obsession With Racial Purity

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race mixingIn November 2000, after a statewide vote in a special election, Alabama became the very last state to overturn a law that was an ugly reminder of America’s past, a ban on interracial marriage. The one-time home of George Wallace and Martin Luther King Jr. had held onto the provision for 33 years after the Supreme Court declared Anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional.       Yet as the election revealed40 percent of Alabamans voted to keep the ban — many people still see the necessity for a law that prohibits blacks and whites from mixing blood. I find that shocking!

Werner Sollors, a professor of Afro-American studies at Harvard, was born in Germany and came to the United States in 1978. He has been studying and writing about the history of American interracial relationships since 1986. Sollors is the editor of his book “Interracialism : Black-White Intermarriage in American History, Literature, and Law,” a fascinating survey of legal decisions, literary criticism and essays by writers and scholars including Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois and Randall Kennedy. Here Sollors discusses mixed-race origins — and multiracial future — of the nation.

What took Alabama so long to overturn its anti-miscegenation law?

In the years after the Civil War, most of the Southern states made miscegenation bans part of their constitutions. And part of the constitutional provision was that no legislation should ever change them. These were not just ordinary laws that you could modify with a simple majority; they called for very complicated processes and very large majorities to be overturned.

In 1967, the Supreme Court invalidated these anti-miscegenation provisions with the Loving v. Virginia case, and the Southern states began to adjust. But not right away. In the first 10 or 15 years, there wasn’t a lot of activism or popular support for having the laws changed — no politician wanted to be caught trying to remove those statutes. I think Mississippi did it in 1987 or 1988 — 20 years after the Loving vs. Virginia case.

Alabama also had a law — dating back to the 1833 Pace v. Alabama case — that mandated different punishment for a black-white couple who “fornicated” or committed adultery than for a same-race couple.

Pace v. AlabamaIsn’t that amazing? It reads like Orwell. The federal Supreme Court sanctioned the states’ right to mete out different punishment for the same offense depending on whether the people involved were of different races or not.

 Virginia Racial Integrity Act of 1924.

They actually required people who got married to hand in authenticated racial genealogies. To get a marriage license you had to show that you and your partner were not of different races.

But all states weren’t like Virginia. South Carolina took into account someone’s reputation and place in society when judging whether that person was black.

EugenicsYes, South Carolina defined whiteness in a broader way than North Carolina or Virginia or Mississippi did. The assumption is that they wanted to have as many white people as possible in their community.

With state autonomy, if a general principle is agreed upon, states can take quite different routes to achieving that principle. If the principle is to have racial segregation in a hierarchical way, one state might think that it’s a good idea to have as large a white population as possible. Another state might think the best thing is to have as sharp a dividing line as possible. Neither of them makes sense, but they coexist in an interesting way and create a lot of drama in the United States. In the 19th century, you could move from one state to another and be reclassified racially.

Fear of miscegenation was the driving force behind all racial classifications and, eventually, segregation.

Fear of miscegenationIt’s really interesting how much effort had to be undertaken by lawmakers in so many states in order to prohibit something that clearly was going on. A whole apparatus of legislation arose to prohibit it, and in a way that runs so much against the grain of the democratic ethos. The free choice of the person you want to marry seems to be a pretty basic human right.

From that angle, it does indeed seem that the core of the fear of racial integration is miscegenation, and that everything else surrounding it is protecting that core. In the 1950s, even in the argument about school and desegregation, there was always the bottom-line question: Do you want your daughter to marry a Negro? President Truman famously asked that of a reporter.

It’s interesting that it’s always “daughter.”

That has something to do with the way “the Negro” was cast in the popular imagination. A good example is Gunnar Myrdal’s classic study of American blacks, “An American Dilemma,” which really changed the climate against segregation in 1944. It’s a massive book, 1,500 pages, in which the Negro is always imagined as a man. Women are white women. When people said “the Negro,” the first association was always a man, and the problem of the Negro was the problem of Negro men. Which is something the last three decades of scholarship about black women has somewhat corrected and challenged.

It really struck me how American the anti-miscegenation drive is, and that it’s specifically black-white relations that are such a problem here. Is there any other country that compares?

An American DilemmaOn this abstract racial principle of “black” and “white,” there really is an exceptional situation in the U.S. In virtually every other country, people who in the U.S. would be considered “people of color” have lived together with white people without such prohibitions.

Even in South Africa, the legal prohibition on interracial marriage was short-lived. At the beginning of the last century, when the first prohibitions on interracial sex were enacted, they only affected black men going to white prostitutes — that was the beginning of apartheid. Only after World War II was interracial marriage prohibited in South Africa, and that lasted 40 years.

Whereas prohibition of interracial marriage in the United States is pretty much the whole history of the country until 1967. That’s a very dramatic difference.

What about different regions of the U.S.? Is it still true that, as Alain Locke wrote in 1916, “The North loves the Negro and dislikes Negroes, while the South hates the Negro and loves Negroes” is a generalization with a hint of truth?

MiscengenationLocke was looking at a relatively early stage of the migration of Southern blacks to the North, but even now you could find a bit of lip service paid to racial mixing from pro-integrationist Northerners who have little interracial contact, and you could find hostile white Southerners who have a lot of close contact with blacks. That is a paradox.

In history class, we learn about the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, but not about the case that ended the ban on interracial marriage, Loving vs. Virginia. It’s a landmark case, but it isn’t usually included as a part of the history of the civil rights movement.

It really isn’t part of the common consciousness and it isn’t celebrated. [The case involved an interracial couple, Mildred and Richard Loving, who were married in Washington, D.C., and then moved to Virginia, where their marriage was prohibited; the Lovings were awakened in their bed one night by a policeman and taken to jail. Mildred Loving, who was black, was widowed in 1975 when Richard, who was white, died in a car accident.] Once in a while a magazine will mention it. Emerge magazine, for example, had a celebratory piece in 1997, for the 30th anniversary of the decision. But it’s really very low-key by comparison with the other landmarks.

When the Loving decision came out, it was during the Six-Day War in Israel and there were the urban riots in the United States, so it was an incredibly troubled national and international moment. Way in the back of the newspaper, among other decisions, Loving was mentioned. It didn’t have a contemporary resonance. People didn’t say, “Wow, it’s really over.”

LovingvVirginiaQuoteIt should still resonate — it’s the same issue that’s now come up again with gay marriage.

Did blacks support overturning the ban?

In “An American Dilemma,” Gunnar Myrdal pointed out that for blacks, interracial marriage was the lowest rung of what he called the “rank order of discrimination.” The first things they wanted were equal legal treatment and voting rights and employment rights. The freedom to marry whites was always listed, but it was the last item that came to mind in terms of what one suffered during segregation. Whereas for white, liberal civil rights people, it was a pretty high-ranking item on the agenda.

Black resistance to interracial marriage comes up strongly in literature of the 1960s. The standard plot is that the black man gets divorced from a white woman. Then there are all the stories, which before were written from the white side, that started appearing from the black side also: worry about having children with someone outside of the race, about what the children’s identity would be and so on.

What does literature add to the legal history?

When you look at Latin American myths of origin, they always involve mixed beginnings; for example, there’s a marriage of a Portuguese and an Indian or something of that sort. The Brazilian founding myth involves three races. Mexico has three cultures.

By contrast, it seems odd — especially in the age of multiculturalism in America — to always focus on antagonistic stories that are based on one origin and then on conflict only. But there is also American literature out there that does very much what these Latin American founding myths do. There has been quite a bit of recent interest in the literature of “passing” and the literature of mixed-race alliances. And in a way, the gossip about presidents has a function similar to that literature.

jeffersonhemingsSally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson

One has to have mythic stories. If Jefferson’s family includes Sally Hemings’ family, then America, much farther back, is a much more united country than the fiction of separate races permits us to consider. For that reason, the JeffersonHemings story has always been interesting to writers who were progressives on the racial front and were trying to address the problem of the color line. The Jefferson-Hemings story is particularly telling too, because this is the author of the Declaration of Independence, the whole root of the enterprise — “All men are created equal.”

Interracialism: the problem of the 21st century could be colorblindness, as opposed to what W. E. B. Du Bois said 100 years ago: “The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.”

There are two camps. On the one hand, colorblindness is a problem as long as social equality is not achieved. It might be a wonderful ideal to aim for, but one can’t presume that we’re now completely race neutral and we’ll achieve social justice.

On the other hand, the “race blindness” camp is strong in saying, “Why should we perpetuate the very same categories that were used for such unbelievably sinister purposes? Wouldn’t some other measures of addressing the injustice of the past be more appropriate?” Whenever somebody fills in the affirmative action form, they probably have that reaction — “My God, why should I classify myself racially? Shouldn’t we steer policies more toward a form of social equalization that will make these categories unnecessary?”

What’s been going on with racial categories in the census is also interesting.

The census had two rules. One is the 1997 rule that permitted everyone to mark more than one box in the 2000 census. Then came the 2000 evaluation procedure, which allowed the census to classify anyone who marked more than one box as part of the “people of color” category — if there was a white and color mix indicated.

Essentially, it’s one thing to say that a person can fall into multiple racial categories, but what happens to all the people in the old categories? It can have some disastrous consequences now because in some states, apparently many white Americans found it fashionable to indicate that they were Native American. In some counties where Native Americans were a minority they may now end up as a majority. There are lots of headaches with counting and civil rights and voting rights and districting that are going to come in the next two years as a result of this census decision.

interracial marriageHow will interracial relationships affect America demographically in the future?

The U.S. Census presumes that there is no interracial procreation going on. The predictions it makes about the future population of the United States are based on the assumption that after tonight at midnight, no further interracial relationship takes place. It is an absurd assumption. If we include the possibility of interracial procreation, the future population of the United States will look completely different from what the census predictions tell us now. “The Browning of America by 2050″ prediction, which says that whites will no longer be in the majority by 2050, assumes that procreation will happen only within the five affirmative action categories.

Why don’t they take interracial marriage into account?

I really can’t understand why this variable isn’t put into play. They predict all kinds of things — like whether more people will move to cities or fewer will move to cities. But they don’t predict that after today there will be any children born to parents who fall into different race categories.

But if you acknowledge a mixed-race population, there’s going to be an even larger future mixed-race population, even if you presume just a continuation of the last 10 years of interracial progeny.

The Browning of AmericaSome people have the sense that more intermarriage will promote racial harmony.

Where we are now is just on the point of overcoming the legacy of a very long and exceptional set of prohibitions against interracial marriage. We’re merely correcting a serious and long-lasting social block. There is beginning to be more reflection on the possibility of multiracial identity. I’m not a Utopian and I don’t think there’s anything necessarily superterrific that will come from that. I myself don’t think that racial harmony is guaranteed by interracial marriage. But I think that racial disharmony was guaranteed by prohibiting it.

Recources:

Anti-miscegenation laws in the United States

Loving v. Virginia | LII / Legal Information Institute

Interracial marriage

Mixing it up – Salon.com

Historical Overview Lasting Effects

Bill of Rights Institute: Landmark Supreme Court Cases

Full text of “American dilemma: the Negro problem and

Mississippi Republican – Public Policy Polling

Patchwork heritage: our beautiful rainbow country

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