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Secrecy News -- 05/31/07

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2007 14:00:02 -0400
Fwd Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2007 07:58:21 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 05/31/07



SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2007, Issue No. 57
May 31, 2007

Secrecy News Blog: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

Support Secrecy News:

http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp


**  A REVIEW OF GOVERNMENT QUARANTINE AUTHORITY
**  NATIONAL INTEL COUNCIL SPONSORS WIKI ON GLOBAL DISEASE
**  CHINA NAVAL MODERNIZATION
**  CASTRO'S CUBA TODAY
**  CANADA-U.S. RELATIONS


A REVIEW OF GOVERNMENT QUARANTINE AUTHORITY

The detention of a man infected with tuberculosis who may have
exposed fellow passengers on commercial airliners to a
particularly resistant form of the disease has generated new
interest in the government's power to quarantine and isolate
persons who may pose a threat to public health.

A recent report of the Congressional Research Service provides
extensive legal, factual and historical background on the
subject.

In a nutshell, "state and local governments have the primary
authority to control the spread of dangerous diseases within
their jurisdictions, and the federal government has authority to
quarantine and impose other health measures to prevent the
spread of diseases from foreign countries and between states,"
the CRS report explains.

See "Federal and State Quarantine and Isolation Authority,"
updated January 23, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33201.pdf

and, relatedly, see "Quarantine and Isolation: Selected Legal
Issues Relating to Employment," updated February 28, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33609.pdf

"The term 'quarantine' is derived from the Italian words
quaranta giorni, which refer to the 40-day period during which
certain ships arriving at the port of Venice during the Black
Death plague outbreaks of the 14th century were obliged to sit
at anchor before any persons or goods were allowed to go
ashore," the CRS notes.


NATIONAL INTEL COUNCIL SPONSORS WIKI ON GLOBAL DISEASE

Students at Mercyhurst College created a wiki-based resource on
global disease to support the National Intelligence Council,
while demonstrating the utility of the wiki approach for
intelligence analysis.

"The fundamental question had to do with the impact of chronic
and infectious diseases on US national interests over the next
10-15 years," said Prof. Kristan J. Wheaton, whose class
produced the wiki.

"The 26 students in the class worked for the 10 weeks of the
course on the project, producing over 1000 pages of analysis on
every country in the world. They also wrote global, regional and
national interest reports. They even produced a process report
that talks about how they did what they did and several videos
to accompany the reports. The project was completed using
entirely open sources."

"The final product is interesting on a number of levels," Prof.
Wheaton told Secrecy News, "not the least of which is the way in
which wiki technology facilitated the analysis."

A description of the activity with a link to the final product
can be found on the National Intelligence Council web site here:

http://www.dni.gov/nic/research_globaldisease.html


CHINA NAVAL MODERNIZATION

The significance of China's naval modernization programs and
their impact on U.S. national security considerations are
explored in a newly updated report from the Congressional
Research Service.

See "China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy
Capabilities -- Background and Issues for Congress," updated May
29, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL33153.pdf

Hans Kristensen of FAS observed that a recent Department of
Defense annual report on Chinese military power conspicuously
declined to endorse press reports (mainly attributable to Bill
Gertz of the Washington Times) that China intends to deploy five
new Jin-class ballistic missile submarines.

"Are you building five SSBNs or not?" Hans inquired in a
followup letter to the Embassy of China. "No one here even knows
the answer to your question," the Embassy replied.

See "Pentagon China Report Ignores Five SSBNs Projection,"
Strategic Security Blog, May 25:

http://www.fas.org/blog/ssp/2007/05/pentagon_publishes_annual_ch
in_1.php


CASTRO'S CUBA TODAY

"The chances for a radical change in leadership in Cuba are
remote," the Central Intelligence Agency assessed in a 1966
analysis that was declassified last year.

"Fidel Castro is still the undisputed 'maximum leader' of the
Cuban revolution and the dominant figure in Cuban politics,
despite rumors to the contrary which circulated widely last
spring."

See "Castro's Cuba Today," Current Intelligence Weekly Special
Report, 30 September 1966, declassified October 2006:

http://www.fas.org/irp/cia/product/cuba1966.pdf

See also "Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances,"
Congressional Research Service, updated May 3, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL31139.pdf

and "Cuba: Issues for the 110th Congress," updated May 1, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL33819.pdf


CANADA-U.S. RELATIONS

"The United States and Canada maintain the world's largest
trading relationship, one that has been strengthened during the
past fifteen years by the approval of two multilateral free
trade agreements," according to another recently updated
Congressional Research Service report.

"But it has been over security-related matters, particularly
defense spending, Iraq, and missile defense, that the two
governments had their sharpest differences."

"Notwithstanding these controversies, Canada and the United
States have been working together on a number of fronts to
thwart terrorism, including strengthening border security,
sharing intelligence and expanding law enforcement cooperation."

See "Canada-U.S. Relations," updated May 15, 2007:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/96-397.pdf



_______________________________________________
Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the
Federation of American Scientists.

The Secrecy News Blog is at:
http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/

To SUBSCRIBE to Secrecy News, go to:
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OR email your request to saftergood.nul

Secrecy News is archived at:
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SUPPORT Secrecy News with a donation here:
http://www.fas.org/static/contrib_sec.jsp


_______________________
Steven Aftergood
Project on Government Secrecy
Federation of American Scientists
web:  www.fas.org/sgp/index.html
email: saftergood.nul
voice: (202) 454-4691


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