[govinfo] GovInfo News 8-16-06

  • From: "Patrice McDermott" <pmcdermott@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "govinfo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <govinfo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2006 11:48:51 -0400

Patrice McDermott, Director
202-332-OPEN (6736)

Federation of American Scientists Removes Anti-Missile Report From Site
By JOSH GERSTEIN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
August 15, 2006

WASHINGTON A scientific watchdog group has removed from its Web site an 
unclassified government report on anti-missile technology after receiving a 
warning letter from the Department of Homeland Security.

The Federation of American Scientists said yesterday that it decided to take 
down the report while reviewing the agency's concerns.

"I have no interest in the absolute disclosure of absolutely everything," the 
head of the association's program on government secrecy, Steven Aftergood, 
said. "I think that's a ridiculous position to hold."
The 74-page report was delivered to Congress late last month and summarizes the 
Department of Homeland Security's response to the threat posed by 
shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, referred to by specialists as 
Man-Portable Air Defense Systems, or Manpads.
On August 3, Mr. Aftergood posted the report to his organization's Web site. 
Last week, the group's president, Henry Kelly, received a letter from a 
Department of Homeland Security attorney, William Anderson.
"Due to the sensitive nature of the report, I request that your organization 
immediately remove the report from its Web site," Mr. Anderson wrote. "If the 
report is not removed from your Web site within two business days, we will 
consider further appropriate actions necessary to protect the information 
contained in the report."
Mr. Aftergood said his decision to acquiesce to the government's request was 
influenced by a recent ruling in a criminal case against two former lobbyists 
for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Steven Rosen and Keith 
Weissman. Judge Thomas Ellis III declared that individuals could be prosecuted 
for obtaining or distributing closely held information related to national 
defense, even if it is unclassified.
Asked if the keeping the anti-missile report on the Web could have triggered 
criminal charges, Mr. Aftergood said, "Until last week, I would have laughed 
and said, 'Of course not.'"
The scholar and critic of government classification policy said he is no longer 
so sanguine..


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