NEWS ABOUT: secrecy

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33K Pages of Clinton Files Are Still Hidden —Why?

Withholding period ended in January 2013

(Newser) - It's been more than a year since the legal justification for secrecy expired on a collection of roughly 33,000 pages of documents from the Clinton presidency. But the files in question—which are held at the Clinton Presidential Library and are reportedly related in part to scandals such... More »

Blame Libya Abduction on White House Leaks

Obama administration at fault for prime minister's ordeal, Marc Thiessen argues

(Newser) - Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was kidnapped briefly today in retaliation for consenting to the commando raid that captured Abu Anas al-Libi. How did they know he'd done this? "Simple: The Obama administration told them," writes Marc Thiessen at the Washington Post . Under fire from Congress and... More »

Why You Should Be Outraged That Area 51 Is Real

Government is now controlling what's real, and we're OK with that: Joseph Lapin

(Newser) - Last month, the CIA acknowledged it : Area 51 is real, and it was used to test spy planes. But the news seems largely to have washed over Americans without any pushback, and that's a shame, writes Joseph Lapin at Salon . Not only did the government keep another secret from... More »

New York: Sorry, Our Video Parodying Secrecy Is Secret

Andrew Cuomo denies Freedom of Information Act request

(Newser) - Isn't government secrecy funny? Andrew Cuomo thought so, so the New York governor—who campaigned on a promise of transparency—shot a video with his aides last year poking fun at the reputation for secrecy he's earned since. It was played during the Albany press corps' gala last... More »

Manning Is a Product of Our Warped Idea of Secrecy

Denver Nicks: Moynihan warned of something like this years ago

(Newser) - Trying to figure out whether Bradley Manning is a traitor or a hero is the least important aspect of his trial , writes Manning biographer Denver Nicks in Time . What's important is understanding that Manning is just the guy who did what someone in "the age of big data... More »

Catholic Church Keeps a Secret 2nd Set of Records

But sex-abuse inquiry is exposing those files

(Newser) - For centuries, the Catholic Church has had two sets of books—one for routine matters, the other containing records of controversial matters ranging from clandestine weddings performed by priests to clergy alcohol abuse. That second set of records, the first mention of which appeared in the 1700s, has been kept... More »

Navy SEALs Punished for Working on Video Game

At least 7 members acted as consultants for 'Medal of Honor: Warfighter'

(Newser) - Seven members of SEAL Team Six—one of whom took part in the Osama bin Laden raid—are in trouble because of a video game. The elite troops were paid consultants on Electronic Arts' "Medal of Honor: Warfighter," whose missions include a raid on Somali pirates; the game... More »

China Begins Once-a-Decade Leadership Change

Conference addresses corruption, slowed economic growth

(Newser) - China's Tiananmen Square has been emptied of its usual activists and crowds, red flowers and flags blanket the capital, and 1.4 million volunteers are on-hand to provide security as the country's leadership today begins a shift that occurs just once per decade, the BBC reports. President Hu... More »

Price of Keeping US Secrets: $11B

...Or at least, that's the price that's not classified

(Newser) - It's not cheap keeping the vast number of secrets the US government does. These days, Uncle Sam spends a whopping $11 billion guarding classified info, twice what it spent a decade ago, the New York Times reports—and that's just the secrets it will tell us about. The... More »

Tim Cook: Apple Will 'Double Down' on Secrecy

CEO hopes to bring some manufacturing to US

(Newser) - If you thought Apple was secretive under Steve Jobs, brace yourself: Tim Cook says his company is going to "double down" on its strategy of keeping mum. "I feel strongly that being secretive on the product side of our business is so important," the CEO said at... More »

Japan Kept Worst-Case Nuclear Fears Under Wraps

Fukushima report warned that all of Tokyo might need to be evacuated

(Newser) - Japanese officials were told that last year's nuclear disaster could have required the evacuation of tens of millions—but they didn't mention it, worried that the information might cause a panic. A 15-page report, given to the prime minister two weeks after the earthquake, was obtained by the... More »

Homeland Security Hiding Its Emails: Insiders

Employees concerned over lengthy vetting process for internal records

(Newser) - Homeland Security insiders spent months complaining that top Obama appointees were improperly delaying the release of potentially embarrassing files sought under the Freedom of Information Act. In a raft of uncensored emails obtained by the AP , insiders called the vetting process “meddling," "crazy" and "bananas!”... More »

'State Secrets' Privilege Hits Supreme Court

Critics say government abuses privilege aimed at national security

(Newser) - The Supreme Court this week will, for the first time in decades, hear a case questioning aspects of the government’s oft-used “state secrets” privilege, USA Today reports. The federal government has used the argument frequently since 9/11, such as in cases of warrantless surveillance and prisoner interrogation; it... More »

Obama Moves to Declassify US Secrets

More than 400M pages could be declassified after prez order

(Newser) - More than 400 million pages of Cold War-era documents could be declassified as the federal government responds to President Obama's order to rethink the way it protects the nation's secrets. Among the changes Obama announced yesterday is a requirement that every record be released eventually and that federal agencies review... More »

Obama Raises Bar on What Passes for State Secrets

AG must personally approve all requests to keep programs veiled

(Newser) - The Obama administration will announce much more stringent rules on state secrets today, two Justice Department officials tell the Washington Post, in what amounts to a major shift from Bush-era practice. To keep a program secret, an organization—including intelligence agencies and the military—will have to convince the attorney... More »

Wiretapping Memos Drafted in 'Inappropriate' Secrecy: Report

Only 3 Justice officials knew of program

(Newser) - The legal justification for the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program was handled with unprecedented secrecy that sidestepped usual Justice Department procedure, the Washington Post reports. Only three Justice officials—John Ashcroft, John Yoo, and staff attorney James Baker—were made aware of the program and participated in drafting memos... More »

Obama Orders Review of Government Secrecy

President creates task force to overhaul declassification policy

(Newser) - President Obama has ordered a sweeping review of the government's secrecy policy, the Washington Post reports. Obama sent a memo to government officials reaffirming his administration's commitment "to operating with an unprecedented level of openness," and directed his national security adviser  to review how classified information is handled... More »

Todd Palin Is Alaska's (Unelected) Cheney

Role of 'First Dude' is secretive, powerful ... and outside bounds of normal government

(Newser) - Todd Palin isn’t just Alaska’s “First Dude,” Mike Madden reports in Salon—Sarah Palin’s husband plays a nebulous but obviously major role in her administration. Todd is involved in both personnel and legislative decisions, getting copied in on many official e-mails, and working directly with... More »

EPA Staffers Told to Keep Quiet in Memo

Environmental experts suspect politically charged 'gag order'

(Newser) - In what some officials fear is a sign of secrecy and political meddling, an email to Environmental Protection Agency staff asked that they not answer questions from journalists, the Government Accountability Office, or its own inspector general, CNN reports. In the email, which an environmental workers’ group called a “... More »

UBS Case May Reveal Secrets of the Rich

Swiss bank considers divulging names of 20,000 US clients

(Newser) - The Swiss bank UBS built itself into a financial powerhouse on the strength of its private wealth management division, in which discreet bankers tended to the fortunes of the world's elite. But a major American tax evasion probe may lead UBS to do what was once unthinkable: divulge its secrets.... More »

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