US court upholds NSA’s refusal to admit or deny wiretap data

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The Glomar

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
A US federal appeals court has concluded that the National Security Agency can refuse to admit or deny it possesses information about the US government spying on lawyers representing Guantánamo prison detainees. The decision by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York relates to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request under a civil liberties lawsuit challenging post-9/11 warrantless surveillance operations by US agencies. The latter typically respond to most FOIA requests by confirming or denying possession of information relating to particular requests, and then by proceeding to either deny release, or release selected segments of the requested data. It is rare for an agency to refuse even to acknowledge the existence of information sought through FOIA. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0104

  • Pro-secrecy ex-NSA/CIA director joins declassification board. Michael V. Hayden is not exactly an advocate of declassifying US government records. But he is the latest appointee to the Public Interest Declassification Board, an official body that advises the President on declassification policies, priorities and potential reforms.
  • CIA agent who headed plan to lift sunken Soviet submarine dies. CIA agent Christopher Fitzgerald led a 1974 CIA project to recover a Soviet submarine that had sunk in 17,000 feet of water about 750 miles northwest of Hawaii in 1968. But the recovery team nearly caused a nuclear explosion when the submarine split while being raised, and its body hit the ocean floor.
  • CIA director heads agency recruiting drive of US Muslims. CIA chief Leon Panetta is to meet with Arab-Americans in Michigan, in an effort “to promote diversity within the intelligence agency”. But, as intelNews has noted before, this will not be easy, especially in Michigan.

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