DOD UPDATES POLICY ON INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES
The Department of Defense last week issued a new directive that
regulates the conduct of its intelligence activities. It replaces a
prior directive from 1988, and reflects the structural changes in
national and military intelligence that have occurred since then.
"All DoD intelligence and CI [counterintelligence] activities shall be
carried out pursuant to the authorities and restrictions of the U.S.
Constitution, applicable law, [Executive Order 12333], the policies and
procedures authorized herein, and other relevant DoD policies...," the
new directive reaffirms.
"Special emphasis shall be given to the protection of the
constitutional rights and privacy of U.S. persons."
"No Defense Intelligence or CI Component shall request any person or
entity to undertake unauthorized activities on behalf of the Defense
Intelligence or CI Component."
"Under no circumstances shall any DoD Component or DoD employee engage
in, or conspire to engage in, assassination."
See "DoD Intelligence Activities," Department of Defense Directive
5240.01, August 27, 2007:
The new directive renews the authorization of a 1982 DoD Regulation on
"Procedures Governing the Activities of DoD Intelligence Components
that Affect United States Persons," DoD 5240.1-R, December 11, 1982,
ARMY WARNS AGAINST "FALSE IMPRESSIONS" OF INFORMATION SHARING
The U.S. Army says it will fulfill its obligations to share information
with foreign governments and organizations pursuant to international
agreements, but it cautions against promising too much.
"The policy of the United States is to avoid creating false impressions
of its willingness to make classified or unclassified
information/technology available," according to an August 2 memorandum
on international disclosure policy from the US Army Armor Center at
The new DoD Directive on intelligence activities presents a seemingly
more forthcoming statement of DoD disclosure policy (sect. 4.5.2):
"The broadest possible sharing of intelligence with coalition and
approved partner countries shall be accomplished unless otherwise
precluded from release by law, explicit direction, or policy."
SECRECY REPORT CARD 2007
By most available quantitative measures, government secrecy continues
to grow in problematic ways, according to a new annual survey from the
advocacy coalition OpenTheGovernment.org.
While the creation of new secrets (termed "original classification
decisions") actually declined in the past year, total classification
activity grew significantly, as did the use of controls on unclassified
information, and the costs of maintaining the apparatus of national
"The current administration has increasingly refused to be held
accountable to the public, including through the oversight
responsibilities of Congress," said Patrice McDermott, Director of
See "Secrecy Report Card 2007," September 2007: