Steven Aftergood

N - Z

Aftergood is the director of the Project on Government Secrecy for the Federation of American Scientists. See Aliya Sternstein, "A Career as a Secrecy Watchdog," Federal Computer Week, 13 Nov. 2006.

Aftergood, Steven. "A New DNI Directive on the National Intelligence Council." Secrecy News, 12 Jun. 2008. []

Intelligence Community Directive ICD-207, "National Intelligence Council," 9 June 2008, "defines the structure and mission of the National Intelligence Council (NIC)." According to the Directive, "[t]he NIC produces coordinated assessments of the IC’s views on critical national security issues. The NIC's flagship product is the National Intelligence Estimate, which provides the authoritative written judgments of the IC on national security issues for the United States Government." Text of the Directive is available at:


Aftergood, Steven. "New Intelligence Directive on Congressional Notification." Secrecy News, 1 Dec. 2011. []

On 16 November 2011, DNI James Clapper issued Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 112 on "Congressional Notification." ICD 112 "generally encourages 'a presumption of notification' to Congress regarding significant intelligence activities." Text of ICD 112 is available at:


Aftergood, Steven. "NRO Budget Book for FY 2006 (Redacted)." Secrecy News (from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy), 11 Jan. 2007. []

"A redacted version" of the NRO Congressional Budget Justification Book for FY-06 "was released" to the FAS last week in response to a FOIA lawsuit and "in compliance with a court order. The more intelligible portions of the document" are posted at:


Aftergood, Steven. "NRO Releases Portion of 2009 Budget Justification." Secrecy News, 13 Jul. 2009. []

The NRO has "released most of the unclassified portions ... of its Congressional Budget Justification Book for FY2009.  While those unclassified portions are only a small fraction of the full budget document, they still provide a fresh glimpse or two of the agency " The redacted document -- "National Reconnaissance Program, FY2009 Congressional Budget Justification," February 2008 -- is available at:


Aftergood, Steven. "NSA Releases USS Liberty Records." Secrecy News (from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy), 9 Jul. 2003. []

NSA has declassified and released "audio intercepts and related documents concerning the 1967 Israeli attack on the U.S.S. Liberty." NSA's releases are available at:


Aftergood, Steven. "ODNI Secrecy Activity, 'Population' Increased in 2010." Secrecy News, 20 Jan. 2011. []

In a 12 November 2010 report to the Information Security Oversight Office, ODNI Information Management Director John F. Hackett reported that "[t]he number of ODNI 'derivative classification decisions'... increased 7.6% to 1,762,999 from the year before....  'The increase in total decisions was largely driven by population growth, which increased by 17% from last year.'" The report also states that "There were two discretionary declassification decisions made by the Acting DNI during FY10 (declassification of 'QUILL' as a Radar Imager and declassification of the fact of GAMBIT/HEXAGON overhead ISR missions)."

[DNI/10; Recon/Sats/11]

Aftergood, Steven. "Office of Director of National Intelligence to Be Downsized." Secrecy News, 14 Feb 2011. []

DNI James R. Clapper Jr. told the HPSCI on 10 January 2011 that the ODNI will be "reduced in its size and budget." The DNI stated that based on an efficiencies review, "I decided to reduce or eliminate functions not required by law or executive order that are not core missions of the DNI. I also identified elements that should transfer out of the ODNI to another agency who would serve as the executive agent on my behalf and carry out these services of [common] concern on behalf of the ODNI."

Clapper's prepared remarks are available at:


Aftergood, Steven. "Pentagon Intelligence Oversight Falls Short." Secrecy News, 29 May 2008. []

According to a March 2008 report to Congress from the Department of Defense's Inspector General, "routine oversight" of the DoD's "massive and far-flung intelligence apparatus has been significantly reduced."

[MI/00s/08; Oversight/00s]

Aftergood, Steven. "Pentagon Intel Ops 'Often' Evade Oversight." Secrecy News, 6 Jul. 2009. []

In its report on the 2010 intelligence bill, "the House Intelligence Committee complained" that DoD "has blurred the distinction between traditional intelligence collection, which is subject to intelligence committee oversight, and clandestine military operations, which are not.  Because they are labeled in a misleading manner, some DoD clandestine operations that are substantively the same as intelligence activities are evading the congressional oversight they are supposed to receive."

[MI/00s/08; Oversight/00s]

Aftergood, Steven. "A Reorganization of Defense Intelligence." Secrecy News, 30 Jul. 2008. []

"A new Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center (DCHC) is being established at the Defense Intelligence Agency to manage, develop and execute DoD counterintelligence and human intelligence activities worldwide. It will take over many of the functions and authorities of the Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA), which drew criticism for its unauthorized domestic surveillance activities.... CIFA will be terminated effective August 3.... The new organization was described in a July 22 memorandum from the Deputy Secretary of Defense," which is available at:

Steven Aftergood, "DIA Takes on Offensive Counterintelligence." Secrecy News, 12 Aug. 2008, adds: With the establishment of the DCHC, "the Defense Intelligence Agency now has new authority to engage in offensive counterintelligence operations that seek to thwart foreign intelligence activities."

Transcript of a 5 August 2008 "Media Roundtable about the Establishment of the Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center" is available at:

[MI/CI & DIA/00s]

Aftergood, Steven. "Supreme Court Rebuffs FISA Challenge." Secrecy News (from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy), 23 Apr. 2001. []

With regard to the U.S. Supreme Court's dismissal of the Squillacote-Stand appeal, Aftergood notes that "the FBI requested and received 20 separate FISA authorizations for surveillance" during the Squillacote-Stand investigation. Their attorneys "were never permitted to see the underlying documentation that the government used to justify the surveillance." The government said that "all required procedures were followed at all times,... that access to the FISA applications by the defendants' attorneys was correctly denied on national security grounds[,] ... that the investigation and prosecution of Squillacote and Stand survived multiple layers of judicial review and that their conviction was upheld on appeal."

[Overviews/Legal/FISA; SpyCases/U.S./Squillacote]

Aftergood, Steven. "Two New Judges Appointed to Intelligence Court." Secrecy News, 27 May 2011. []

The Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court has named two federal district court judges, Jennifer B. Coffman (Eastern District of Kentucky) and F. Dennis Saylor (District of Massachusetts), to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). They will serve seven-year terms effective 19 May 2011. They replace judges Dee Benson and Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. whose terms on the FISC ended 18 May 2011.


Aftergood, Steven. "Warrantless Surveillance of Charity Ruled Unlawful." Secrecy News, 1 Apr. 2010. []

Judge Vaughn Walker of the Northern District of California ruled on 31 March 2010 that warrantless surveillance of an Islamic charity in Oregon in 2004 violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The judge found that "the government had unlawfully intercepted international telephone conversations of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation without a warrant, as required by the FISA for intelligence and counterterrorism surveillance."

[FBI/DomSec/2010s; Overviews/Legal/FISA]

Aftergood, Steven. "White House Names New PFIAB Members." Secrecy News (from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy), 31 Oct. 2005. []

On 27 October 2005, President George W. Bush announced that "Stephen Friedman, an investment banker and a previous PFIAB member, will serve as the next PFIAB chairman." See the text of the White House Press Release and the full list of PFIAB members at


Aftergood, Steven. "Wrongheaded 'Protection.'" Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 55, no. 4 (Jul.-Aug. 1999). []

"[E]fforts to reduce the scope of government secrecy and promote declassification of Cold War records may be an unfortunate casualty of the Chinese nuclear espionage scandal.... In particular, the reported theft of nuclear secrets has cast a government-wide chill on declassification and may spell the end of the Energy Department's Openness Initiative." See also, Steven Aftergood, "Security: How Not to Combat Chinese Espionage," Los Angeles Times, 4 Jul. 1999.


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