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Secrecy News -- 03/21/13

From: Steven Aftergood <saftergood.nul>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2013 07:06:10 -0700
Archived: Fri, 22 Mar 2013 06:07:39 -0400
Subject: Secrecy News -- 03/21/13


SECRECY NEWS
from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2013, Issue No. 31
March 21, 2013

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


**     NASA TECHNICAL REPORTS DATABASE GOES DARK
**     A STUDY OF PUBLIC MASS SHOOTINGS, AND MORE FROM CRS


NASA TECHNICAL REPORTS DATABASE GOES DARK

This week NASA abruptly took the massive NASA Technical Reports
Server (NTRS) offline.  Though no explanation for the removal
was offered, it appeared to be in response to concerns that
export controlled information was contained in the collection.

"Until further notice, the NTRS system will be unavailable for
public access. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause
you and anticipate that this site will return to service in the
near future," the NTRS homepage now states.

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/

NASA Public Affairs did not respond yesterday to an inquiry
about the status of the site, the reason for its suspension, or
the timeline for its return.

NASA Watch linked the move to a statement from Rep. Frank Wolf
on Monday concerning alleged security violations at NASA Langley
Research Center.

http://nasawatch.com/archives/2013/03/nasa-technical.html

"NASA should immediately take down all publicly available
technical data sources until all documents that have not been
subjected to export control review have received such a review
and all controlled documents are removed from the system," Rep.
Wolf said.

http://spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=40365

In other words, all NASA technical documents, no matter how
voluminous and valuable they are, should cease to be publicly
available in order to prevent the continued disclosure of any
restricted documents, no matter how limited or insignificant
they may be.

"There is a HUGE amount of material on NTRS," said space policy
analyst Dwayne Day. "If NASA is forced to review it all, it will
never go back online."

Essentially, the mindset represented by Rep. Wolf and embraced
by NASA fears the consequences of unauthorized disclosure more
than it values the benefits of openness.  It is a familiar
outlook that has wreaked havoc with the nation's historical
declassification program, and has periodically disrupted routine
access to record collections at the National Archives, as well
as online collections at the CIA, the Los Alamos technical
report library, and elsewhere.

"I'd also note that a large amount of historical
Mercury/Gemini/Apollo documents that were previously available
at NARA Fort Worth is now apparently withdrawn due to ITAR
[export controls]," said Dr. Day.

The upshot is that the government is not an altogether reliable
repository of official records. Members of the public who depend
on access to such records should endeavor to make and preserve
their own copies whenever possible.

<snip>

_______________________________________________
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 the FAS Project on Government Secrecy with a donation:
     http://www.fas.org/member/donate_today.html

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




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