Monthly Archives: December 2011
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2011, Issue No. 114
December 12, 2011
Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/
** CHARTER OF OPEN SOURCE ORG IS CLASSIFIED, CIA SAYS
** A SURVEY OF FEDERAL LAWS RELATED TO CYBERSECURITY
CHARTER OF OPEN SOURCE ORG IS CLASSIFIED, CIA SAYS
Open Source Works, which is the CIA’s in-house open source analysis
component, is devoted to intelligence analysis of unclassified, open source
information. Oddly, however, the directive that established Open Source
Works is classified, as is the charter of the organization. In fact, CIA
says the very existence of any such records is a classified fact.
“The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the existence or nonexistence of
records responsive to your request,” wrote Susan Viscuso, CIA Information
and Privacy Coordinator, in a November 29 response to a Freedom of
Information Act request from Jeffrey Richelson of the National Security
Archive for the Open Source Works directive and charter.
“The fact of the existence or nonexistence of requested records is
currently and properly classified and is intelligence sources and methods
information that is protected from disclosure,” Dr. Viscuso wrote.
This is a surprising development since Open Source Works — by definition
— does not engage in clandestine collection of intelligence. Rather, it
performs analysis based on unclassified, open source materials.
Thus, according to a November 2010 CIA report, Open Source Works “was
charged by the [CIA] Director for Intelligence with drawing on
language-trained analysts to mine open-source information for new or
alternative insights on intelligence issues. Open Source Works’ products,
based only on open source information, do not represent the coordinated
views of the Central Intelligence Agency.”
As such, there is no basis for treating Open Source Works as a covert,
unacknowledged intelligence organization. It isn’t one.
Even if Open Source Works were engaged in classified intelligence
analysis, the idea that its charter must necessarily be classified is a
non-sequitur. Illustrating the contrary proposition, the Department of
Defense last week issued a new Instruction on “Geospatial Intelligence
(GEOINT),” setting forth the policies governing that largely classified
Beyond that, it is an interesting question “why the CIA felt the need to
establish such a unit given the existence of the DNI Open Source Center,”
said Dr. Richelson. The Open Source Center, the successor to the Foreign
Broadcast Information Service, is the U.S. Government’s principal open
source agency. It is, naturally, a publicly acknowledged organization.
“An even more interesting question,” he added, is “why would the CIA,
whose DI [Directorate of Intelligence] organization structure is published
on its website, feel it necessary to refuse to confirm or deny the
existence of this new open source component?”
The CIA’s extreme approach to classification policy is timely in one
sense: It provides a convenient benchmark for evaluating current progress
in combating overclassification.
If the charter of CIA’s Open Source Works remains classified six months
from now, when the Obama Administration’s Fundamental Classification
Guidance Review will have completed its first cycle, that will be a
decisive indication that the Review failed to eliminate even the most
blatant examples of overclassification.
A SURVEY OF FEDERAL LAWS RELATED TO CYBERSECURITY
There are more than 50 federal statutes that pertain to some aspect of
cybersecurity, according to the Congressional Research Service. Those
statutes, and the potential impact on them of several pending legislative
proposals, are described in a new CRS report. See “Federal Laws Relating
to Cybersecurity: Discussion of Proposed Revisions,” December 7, 2011:
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
Federation of American Scientists.
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Getting WiFi working on Dell Studio 1535 with Broadcom 4312 Chipset after upgrade from Unbuntu 11.04 to 11.10
I just upgraded my operating system from Ubuntu 11.04 to 11.10, and as usual it didn’t completely work. The Wifi was once again quiet. This makes it very hard to then get to the internet and fix things without having a second computer.
The ‘Addition Drivers’ app from the idiot Unity Interface presented me with the Broadcome STA drivers I had been using, but the install button only resulted in an error.
A search on a second computer found the following site:
which recommended removing “bcmwl-kernel-source” by using Synaptic Package Manager, then installing “firmware-b43-installer”.
The firmware installer required an internet connection to fetch – the Ubuntu Wifi Catch-22.
Using a second computer I located
and downloaded it to a USB stick and then installed that on the Dell Studio.
I could then follow the instructions to remove and install as above.
Rebooting computer got nothing – but I could go to the Additional drivers app and see the same old Broadcom STA drivers, and this time I was able to turn them on.
The ‘turn on’ was amazingly slow. A thrill to have to wait and wonder – will it work this time?