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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2012 > Feb > Feb 14

Secrecy News - 02-13-12

From: Kathy Kasten <catraja.nul>
Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2012 20:09:49 +0000
Archived: Tue, 14 Feb 2012 23:32:00 -0500
Subject: Secrecy News - 02-13-12


FYI, regarding drones and the CIA makes more difficult to
request information. The big sell from the DOD is that more jobs
will be created by the NAS.

KK

-----

SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2012, Issue No. 12
February 13, 2012

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

**   DOD ENVISIONS "ROUTINE" UAS ACCESS TO US AIRSPACE
**   CIA ADDS HURDLES TO MANDATORY REVIEW REQUESTS

DOD ENVISIONS "ROUTINE" UAS ACCESS TO US AIRSPACE
 The Department of Defense currently seeks expanded access to
 U.S. airspace for its unmanned aerial systems (UASs), and it
 anticipates the routine use of military UAS in the National
 Airspace System (NAS) as a long-term goal, according to a 25
 year roadmap for UAS development.

"The number of UAS in the DoD inventory is growing rapidly. The
increase in numbers, as well as the expanding roles of UAS, has
created a strong demand for access to national and international
airspace and has quickly exceeded the current airspace available
for military operations," according to DoD's Unmanned Systems
Integrated Roadmap, FY2011-2036, dated October 2011.

"The [desired] end state is routine NAS access comparable to
manned aircraft for all DoD UAS," the DoD Roadmap said. "DoD's
immediate focus is gaining near-term mission-critical access
while simultaneously working toward far-term routine NAS
access."

"Current UAS are built to different specifications for different
purposes; therefore, showing individually that each system is
safe for flight in the NAS can be complicated, time consuming,
and costly," the Roadmap stated. "Routine access cannot happen
until DoD and FAA agree to an acceptable level of safety for
UAS, and the appropriate standards are developed to meet that
threshold."

Under current procedures, the Federal Aviation Administration
permits a small number of DoD UAS flights outside of restricted
military areas. But the present FAA certification process "does
not provide the level of airspace access necessary to accomplish
the wide range of DoD UAS missions at current and projected
operational tempos. This constraint will only be exacerbated as
combat operations in Southwest Asia wind down and systems are
returned to U.S. locations."

In the newly enacted FAA authorization act and the 2012 National
Defense Authorization Act, Congress mandated "accelerated"
integration of UASs into U.S. airspace. ("Congress Calls for
Accelerated Use of Drones in U.S.," Secrecy News, February 3;
"Drones Over U.S. Get OK by Congress" by Shaun Waterman,
Washington Times, February 7; "Among Liberties Advocates,
Outrage Over Expanded Use of Drones" by Channing Joseph, New
York Times The Lede, February 7.)

"Over the next 15 years more than 23,000 UAS jobs could be
created in the U.S. as the result of UAS integration into the
NAS," according to a 2010 report by the Association for Unmanned
Vehicle Systems International, a UAS industry advocacy group.
"These new jobs will include positions in industry, academia,
federal government agencies and the civilian/commercial UAS end-
user community."


CIA ADDS HURDLES TO MANDATORY REVIEW REQUESTS

In recent years the Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR)
process has become an increasingly useful alternative to the
Freedom of Information Act by which members of the public can
challenge the classification of government records. Remarkably,
agency classification positions have been overturned with some
frequency in the MDR appeals process, which is something that
almost never happens in FOIA litigation.

In a dubious act of recognition of the growing effectiveness of
MDR, the Central Intelligence Agency has recently imposed
substantial new fees that seem calculated to discourage its use
by public requesters.

Last September the CIA issued new regulations specifying that
declassification reviews would now cost up to $72 per hour even
if no responsive records were found or released. There is also a
minimum fee of $15 for reproduction of any document, no matter
how few pages it might consist of.

"Search fees are assessable even if we find no records, or, if
we find any, we determine that we cannot release them," the CIA
wrote last month in response to an MDR request from the National
Security Archive. "Consequently, we will charge you even if our
search results are negative or if we cannot release any
information. Accordingly, we will need your commitment to pay
applicable fees before we can proceed."

For background and a critique of the new CIA policy, see "The
CIA's Covert Operation Against Declassification Review" by Nate
Jones in the Archive's Unredacted blog, February 10.


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


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