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Reducing Secrecy

Excessive secrecy has long been a problem in the fields of national and homeland security because it limits information sharing and leaves us less safe as a nation. Both the 9/11 Commission and the congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11 recommended reforms to reduce unnecessary secrets. works with our partners, the Administration, and Congress to put policies in place that both protect constitutional rights and ensure national security by better protecting real secrets and improving information sharing. Challenges Ongoing Classification of the CIA Torture Program

Earlier this week, filed a detailed complaint with the Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO), arguing that even after the release of the Senate torture report’s

Administration Must Address Restrictive Media Policies and Practices joined the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and 51 other groups in a second letter urging President Obama to address the White House and agencies' restrictive public information policies.

The Classified Classification Guidance on Torture, and President Obama’s Legacy

This June, filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the classification guidance that now governs the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation (RDI) program, to see precisely how it had changed after the release of the Senate torture report’s Executive Summary last December.'s Statement on the McCain-Feinstein Anti-Torture Amendment strongly supports passage of Amendment 1889 to the NDAA, the McCain-Feinstein amendment. The amendment would seek to prevent the United States government from ever again engaging in torture, by requiring that:

--All interrogations by the United States government, including by the CIA, must comply with the standards in the Department of Defense’s Field Manual on Interrogation Statement on the Passage of The USA Freedom Act

Yesterday the Senate passed the USA Freedom Act by a 67-32 vote, after rejecting several attempts to weaken it. President Obama signed the bill into law last night.

ACLU v. Clapper Shows that Secret Courts are No Substitute for Real Judicial Review

A unanimous panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday ruled that the NSA’s nationwide collection of Americans’ phone records is illegal, unauthorized by section 215 of the PATRIOT Act or any other statute.

Sunshine Week’s Transparency Legislation; CISA Threats Move Forward

This Sunshine Week, members of Congress stepped up to introduce legislation to increase openness and accountability in all branches of the federal government. Senators Dick Durbin and Chuck Grassley introduced legislation to require the Supreme Court’s open proceedings to be televised. Similar legislation passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2012 and 2010. Rep. Gerard Connolly introduced identical legislation (HR 94) in February.

CISA is Back, and It’s Still Terrible on Transparency

Cybersecurity legislation is much needed, but previous versions of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) all had one thing in common: harsh blows to government transparency. In July, OTG took issue with the Washington Post’s support of the legislation, noting that CISA fails to protect privacy, would block crucial information from the public, and threatens journalists and whistleblowers. The recently- released 114th Congress’ Intelligence Committee version of the bill contains the same worrisome provisions.

The Classified Section

Check out our new blog, The Classified Section, for analysis of national security secrecy.

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