Steven Aftergood: CRS on Free Speech and the Regulation of Social Media Content (#GoogleGestapo)

Free Speech and the Regulation of Social Media Content Currently, federal law does not offer much recourse for social media users who seek to challenge a social media provider’s decision about whether and how to present a user’s content. Lawsuits predicated on these sites’ decisions to host or remove content have been largely unsuccessful, facing …

Steven Aftergood: CRS on Foreign Agent Registration & Political Warfare (PBI: Half the Story, As Usual)

Foreign Agents Registration Act: An Overview, CRS In Focus, updated March 7, 2019 Phi Beta Iota: Valuable itemization of the requirements for registration. Unstated but obvious: both AIPAC and ADL are illegally unregistered agents of a foreign power. Strategic Competition and Foreign Policy: What is “Political Warfare”?, CRS In Focus, March 8, 2019 Phi Beta …

Steven Aftergood: President’s Power to Declare a National Emergency

National Emergencies, and More from CRS There were no less than 30 “national emergencies” in effect as of February 1, according to a tabulation prepared by the Congressional Research Service. An additional 21 national emergencies that are no longer in effect were also identified by CRS. Under the National Emergencies Act, a declaration of national …

Steven Aftergood: DIA Gaslighting? UFO “Research” for Corrupt Senator Harry Reid’s Favored Constituent?

More Light on Black Program to Track UFOs The Defense Intelligence Agency disclosed this week that it had funded research on warp drive, invisibility cloaking, and other areas of fringe or speculative science and engineering as part of a now-defunct program to track and identify threats from space. From 2007 to 2012, the DIA spent …

Steven Aftergood: CRS Defense Primer – Intelligence Support to Military Operations

Defense Primer: Intelligence Support to Military Operations Inform the commander Describe the operational environment Identify, define, and nominate objectives Support planning and execution of operations Counter adversary deception and surprise Support friendly deception efforts Assess the effectiveness of operations

Steven Aftergood: CRS on Intelligence Oversight

Congressional Oversight of Intelligence:  Background and Selected Options for Further Reform The usual suspects: joint committee, consolidated authorization & appropriation, dedicated HPSCI intelligence staff, abolish term limits for HPSCI Members.

Steven Aftergood: The Costs of War

It is hard even for attentive members of the public to fully comprehend the U.S. military budget. “The scale of spending alone makes it hard to grasp. Public understanding of the costs of war is further limited by secrecy, faulty accounting, and the deferral of current costs,” I argued recently in a short paper for …

Steven Aftergood: Pentagon Secrecy Undermining National Security

NEXT HASC CHAIR SEES NEED FOR GREATER DOD TRANSPARENCY Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), the likely chair of the House Armed Services Committee in the next Congress, told congressional colleagues that enhancing national security transparency is among his top oversight priorities. “Together, we have made strides on national security issues but much more must be done …

Steven Aftergood: 5,792 Secrecy Orders on Inventions

Invention Secrecy Hits Recent High Last year the number of patent applications that were subject to a “secrecy order” under the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951 was the highest that it has been in more than two decades, according to data obtained from the US Patent and Trademark Office. At the end of FY 2018 (September 30, 2018), …

Steven Aftergood: CRS on Global Democracy, USA a Flawed Democracy

DEMOCRACY IN DECLINE? Democracy as a political system has not advanced around the world in the past decade and by some measures it has actually declined, a new report from the Congressional Research Service observes. The obstacles are not all located abroad. Unlike its predecessors, the Trump Administration does not include democracy promotion as part …

Steven Aftergood: It Is Official: Federal Government Can Lie in Budget Statements

Accounting Board Okays Deceptive Budget Practices Government agencies may remove or omit budget information from their public financial statements and may present expenditures that are associated with one budget line item as if they were associated with another line item in order to protect classified information, the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board concluded last week. …