Friday, June 24, 2005


Scientists aren't all that fond of secrecy. They like to share what they've discovered:


While values of openness and accountability are tentatively taking root in some improbable corners of the world, they are steadily being eroded in the United States."About $8 billion in homeland security funds has been doled out to states since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks,but the public has little chance of knowing how all of that money is being spent," according to Congressional Quarterly.

See "Billions in States' Homeland Purchases Kept in the Dark"by Eileen Sullivan, CQ Homeland Security, June 22:

While one can imagine various details of homeland security-related expenditures that might properly be kept confidential, the tide of secrecy has swept away far more than such details. Records of environmental pollution due to animal waste are exempt from public disclosure in Delaware, for example, as the result of a 2000 amendment to that state's freedom of information laws, along with many other categories of official records, a recent news story reports. See "Citizens often kept from public data" by Jeff Montgomeryand Molly Murray, Delaware News Journal, June 19 (thanks toJC):

The Government Printing Office (GPO) has updated its policy for responding to government agency requests to withdraw previously disclosed records from public access."The GPO takes very seriously any Federal agency's request to restrict access to Government information that has been made public. However, the GPO cooperates with Federal agencies in the appropriate distribution of the official information they publish," the policy states. Potential justifications for withdrawing records from public access include the presence of classified information or sensitive but unclassified information. See "Withdrawal of Federal Information Products from GPO's Information Dissemination Programs," Government PrintingOffice Information Dissemination Policy 72, June 21, 2005:

Recent reports of the Congressional Research Service obtained by Secrecy News include the following:"'Bunker Busters': Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator Issues, FY2005 and FY 2006," updated June 23, 2005:"

Homeland Security Department: FY2006 Appropriations," updated June 13, 2005:"

Federal Protection for Human Research Subjects: An Analysis of the Common Rule and Its Interactions with FDA Regulations and the HIPAA Privacy Rule," updated June 2, 2005:"

Parliament and Congress: A Brief Comparison of the BritishHouse of Commons and the U.S. House of Representatives,"updated May 19, 2005:

Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by theFederation of American Scientists.
Good thing somebody is paying attention to at least a few of the secrets this admin prefers to continue to hide.

No comments: